Nearly all Albion College students participate in co-curricular service projects with the surrounding community during their time at Albion College through the student-led Student Volunteer Bureau or other initiatives supported by the Assistant Director of Student Life for Service and Leadership. Inaugurated in 2015, the Build Albion Fellows program provides significant financial support to 50 pell-eligible students from the City of Albion who participate in year-round community engagement projects. This program is currently being expanded and will transition into the Bonner Build Albion Fellowship, which will include programmatic aspects of some of the best practices within the national network.
Albion College also provides staff support and funding for at least 10 faculty members a year to develop courses with an experiential community benefit component in addition to supporting numerous faculty research partnerships with local organizations. Faculty members have also led several of the largest nonprofit initiatives in the community including The Big Albion Read, Community Gardens, Sister City Partnership, and Walk the Beat — Albion. The facilities of Albion College are also utilized by the community – for example, the Whitehouse Nature Center hosts school groups and after-school or summer youth programs almost daily.
Albion College also restored and opened a building in downtown Albion in January of 2017 to provide a home for community engagement efforts and to facilitate campus and community collaboration; this center exemplifies Albion College’s partnership in a $16-18 million public-private partnership to renovate and revitalize Albion’s downtown and hosts over 100 community events each year. The Ludington Center is also home to the three institutes: Carl A. Gerstacker Institute for Business and Management; Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service; and the Gerstacker Institute for Business and Management; and moved in Fall 2019, and the Lisa and James Wilson Institute for Medicine. These institutes provide opportunities for approximately 631 students annually to gain professional skills while engaging in the community through numerous opportunities including over 150 internships in community organizations each year.