Washington Campus Compact (WACC) was formed in February 1992 by seven Washington higher education presidents. Kenneth P. Mortimer, then president of Western Washington University (WWU), assumed a leadership role by chairing the executive committee and hosting the state organization on the WWU campus. The initial goals focused on providing opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to develop a civic ethic; developing a network of service-learning practitioners to share resources and expand strategies; and integrating service-learning into higher education curricula.
Today, WWU remains the host campus for WACC, which now serves a growing membership of more than 30 Washington higher education presidents representing two-year public, four-year private, and four-year public institutions. As the field of community service and service-learning in higher education has expanded, so too has Washington Campus Compact. The current organizational vision and mission represent the priorities identified by our member presidents and service-learning practitioners in diverse communities throughout the state.
Campus Compact was founded in 1985 by the presidents of Brown, Georgetown and Stanford Universities and the president of the Education Commission of the States. In the mid-1980s, the media portrayed college students as materialistic and self-absorbed, more interested in making money than in helping their neighbors. The founding presidents believed this public image was false; they noted many students on their campuses who were involved in community service and believed many others would follow suit with the proper encouragement and supportive structures.
Campus Compact was created to help colleges and universities create such support structures. These include offices and staff to coordinate community engagement efforts, training to help faculty members integrate community work into their teaching and research, scholarships and other student incentives, and the institutional will to make civic and community engagement a priority. Today more than 98% of Campus Compact member campuses have one or more community partnerships, and more than 90% include service or civic engagement in their mission statements. These campuses are putting their knowledge and resources to work to help build strong communities and educate the next generation of responsible citizens.