Jacques Steinberg of the New York Times asks: Which institutions have the best relationships, fiscal and otherwise, with the communities in which they reside?

A college president compiled a list of college highlighting the good works of 25 colleges, called Saviors of Our Cities. The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and the University of Southern California tied for the top.

“This is another affirmation that USC is making a difference in our communities,” said Thomas S. Sayles, vice president of USC’s government and community relations. “We are deeply committed to our neighborhoods and are constantly working to strengthen a relationship that has grown considerably over the years.”

The institutions were selected because of positive impact on their urban communities, including both commercial and residential activities such as revitalization, cultural renewal, economics, community service and development.

The survey highlighted USC’s Family of School’s program, its service learning emphasis as seen in such programs as the Joint Educational Project and the Business Expansion Network, which provides start-up and continual support for local businesses.

The criteria for judging the schools included:

• length of involvement with the community
• real dollars invested
• presence felt through payroll, research and purchasing power
• faculty and student involvement in community service
• continued sustainability of neighborhood initiatives
• effect on local student access and affordability to attend college through K-12 partnerships.

The honor coincides with USC's annual Good Neighbors Campaign, a university-sponsored, staff and employee funded effort for locally serving programs.

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