True Blue Neighbors began in 2009 under The University of Tulsa's President, Steadman Upham as a way to engage the TU community in a structured partnership with the surrounding neighborhood community. The partnership simply formalized the service and commitment our students and staff have played in the neighborhood for many years. As neighbors, we need to help and learn from each other. We need to listen and work to keep friendships strong, while also building a better and safer community. This way, we can come to trust and count on each other to develop a sustainable model for a stronger community.
The True Blue Neighbors initiative has been a collaborative effort amongst a great variety of groups within TU and the neighborhood. TU and its neighbors are actively working to improve the quality of life in the City of Tulsa.
Our initial goal was to get to know our neighbors and we've listened closely to the community about what the neighborhood needs really are, and we've tried to think of every way TU can help meet these needs. With residents and community leaders, with local business owners, with charitable foundations and local non-profits, with local government and with churches, we're part of an exciting team effort. In our first year of tracking, TU has already invested hundreds of student, faculty and staff members who provide thousands of service hours on various academic enrichment and youth development, neighborhood beautification, community-building and service-oriented projects to the neighborhood.
True Blue Neighbors, a comprehensive service initiative of the University of Tulsa, embodies the university's motto of wisdom, faith and service through a collaboration of partners dedicated to improving all aspects of community life in the Kendall-Whittier neighborhood and the greater Tulsa community.
Through the engagement of our faculty, staff, and students in service, True Blue Neighbors is an integral component to the University's mission to ensure our students:
- Become literate in the sciences, humanities and arts
- Think critically and write and speak clearly
- Succeed in their professions and careers
- Behave ethically in all aspect s of their lives
- Welcome the responsibility of citizenship and service in a changing world and
- Acquire the skills and appetite for lifelong learning.
Strategy and Programs
The future strategy for True Blue Neighbors focuses on five thematic areas: Community Outreach and Engagement, Safety & Security, Neighborhood Improvement and Revitalization, Academic Enrichment and Youth Development; and Healthcare & Food Nutrition.