Students put in more than 30,000 service hours last year.

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Niagara's commitment to service, in particular, serving the poor began in 1856 with our Vincentian Heritage. In keeping with this mission, a strategic focus was implemented to extend our reach further by establishing the Institute for Civic Engagement. Since its inception, the Institute has aligned programs and formed new partnerships while strengthening existing relationships. In order to achieve our goals and further our reach into the community several positive changes have emerged.


The institute is the primary resource for anyone in the community who is looking to partner with Niagara University's students, faculty and staff, in turn building more partnerships within the community. These relationships will facilitate community service opportunities for Niagara University students and faculty.

Through the institute, in addition to working with the four flagship programs, students have been recruited to work on projects such as the Niagara Beautification Commission’s annual Beautify Niagara city clean up campaign, Niagara Falls Block Club Council President Roger Spurback’s fight against graffiti and the YouthWorks organization’s home repairs for senior citizens.

The Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M. Institute for Civic Engagement has accomplished many things in its brief existence. However, the institute has only scratched the surface in terms of the impact that Niagara University’s students, faculty and partners can make in the community.


Since the opening of the Levesque Institute in 2011, many milestones have been achieved by hiring its first Director of the Institute and later, Institute Coordinator in 2013.  As we embark upon 10 years of service for Border Community SERVICE and 20 years for Learn and Serve, each program has uniquely defined new milestones they will strive to achieve.  While unique in their own respect, all four programs established goals that include:

  • Additional vehicles for Learn and Serve to increase territory where students can serve
  • Strengthen existing relationships
  • Increase partnerships to expand geographic reach
  • Establish additional funding
  • Build upon success stories
  • Explore new initiatives
  • Improve service

Community Partner Focus

From preparing meals, serving the homeless, conducting needs assessments or organizing a race to raise money, our Niagara University students help to build meaningful bridges with valuable partners. Heart, Love and Soul is one of many that student's invest their mind, heart and time.