This article appeared in the fall/winter 2022 issue of Think magazine. Over the next few weeks, The Daily will share some of the stories from the magazine’s latest issue. Read more at

Community engagement is so central to Case Western Reserve President Eric W. Kaler’s goals for the university that he emphasized the subject in his first campus message—and cited it as one of his top priorities in his inauguration speech.

“We must commit to … engaging with our Cleveland and East Cleveland neighbors to achieve positive social change,” he declared during that October 2021 address. “All of our futures will rise together.”

This spirit dates back decades for the institutions that constitute Case Western Reserve, from abolitionist activism in the 19th century to the early 20th-century launch of one of the nation’s first university-affiliated schools of social work—thanks in large part to the support and urging of the Greater Cleveland community. Cultivating stronger connections with neighbors is a central part of the university’s strategic plan and is accelerated by the enthusiasm of a new generation of students eager for bridges into a wider world.

Read more in Think to find out how Case Western Reserve engages the community.