Center for Civic Engagement celebrates 25 years of community engagement

CCE's 'Be the Change' logo.

By Steve Nakata, Divison of Student Affairs

The Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) at Washington State University invites the community to help celebrate its 25th year on campus with cupcakes and live music on Terrell Mall, Monday, Sept. 17, 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

First known as the Community Service Learning Center, CCE opened its doors in 1993 in the basement of the Compton Union Building to provide students with experiential learning opportunities in the community. Today CCE facilitates the community engagement of over 9,500 students each year who record over 80,000 hours of service locally, regionally and globally.

Current CCE director, Melanie Brown arrived at WSU in 1996. “The Center for Civic Engagement is integral to the land grant mission and has contributed to shifting the culture at WSU towards a more civically engaged university,” said Brown. “WSU students are on track to recording their one millionth hour of community engagement this academic year.”

The event coincides with U.S. Constitution Day and CCE staff will provide information about the Constitution and voter registration to promote democratic engagement as a central tenet of the CCE mission. Anyone stopping by the table can also select a cause button to wear highlighting an issue they care deeply about. Local musician Dan Maher will perform on the mall during the noon hour.

Center for Civic Engagement 25‑Year Highlights

(Programs established in the year indicated)

  • 1993:

    • Community Service Learning Center doors open
    • Student Literacy Corps*
  • 1994

    • Elder Care Program*
  • 1995

    • Environmental Projects*
  • 1997

    • Campus to Community, days of service*
  • 1998

    • Pen Friends Program*
    • Campus on the Run w/University Recreation
  • 2002

    • Service Learning Expo*
  • 2003

    • Palouse Food Project*
    • Online Service Learning*
    • Poverty Awareness Week
  • 2005

    • Civic Engagement Week*
    • Campus-Community Forum*
  • 2006

    • Statewide Service Learning w/WSU Extension
    • Eco Adventures w/Outdoor Recreation*
  • 2007

    • CSLC becomes the Center for Civic Engagement
    • Under the Big Tent/Public Square*
  • 2008

    • President’s Honor Roll for Community Service
    • Alternative Spring Break w/Center for Sustainable Agriculture
    • Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement*
  • 2013

    • Cougs Connect Involvement Fair* w/Student Involvement
    • Leadership & Engagement Awards of Distinction* (LEAD) w/Student Involvement
  • 2014

    • AmeriCorps VISTA Palouse Fresh Food Project*
  • 2015

    • Campus Community Forum* collaborative w/University of Idaho
  • 2016

    • Service Learning Program launched at WSU Vancouver
  • 2017

    • Voter Friendly Campus*
    • Faculty Fellows Program
    • First Year Student Success Project*
    • AmeriCorps VISTA STEAM Literacy Project*
  • 2018

    • WA Campus Compact Annual Meeting & Food Security Forum

*Still exists in some form today


Over the past 25 years

  • 110,000 students engaged
  • 917,000 hours recorded
  • 1500 service learning courses



  • 1,479 active community partners in:
    • 35 Washington counties
    • 27 states
    • 11 countries
  • 1,864 unique community engagement opportunities

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