Center for Civic Engagement

The Katherine W. Dumke Center for Civic Engagement is a campus resource that facilitates volunteer opportunities, student-run service programs, service-learning, and other civic engagement activities for the Westminster Community.

Our Work

  • Dynamic speakers and events addressing the important challenges our community faces
  • Short and long-term volunteer opportunities for students, staff, faculty, and community members
  • Student leadership programs that include budget money, mentorship, and faculty involvement
  • Around 65 service-learning courses
  • Opportunities for faculty to incorporate service learning elements in their curriculum
  • Resources for clubs to fulfill their required service criteria
  • Student employment in the Center, leadership projects, Walkways to Westminster, and America Reads program, as well as a job board featuring opportunities for paid civic engagement
  • An annual community resource guide featuring the contact information for over 100 local non-profits
  • A college bridge program from the city of South Salt Lake to Westminster College
  • Involvement in the Promise South Salt Lake Partnership
  • Recognition programs for outstanding and committed volunteers

What is Civic Engagement?

One useful definition of civic engagement is the following: individual and collective actions designed to identify and address issues of public concern. Civic engagement can take many forms, from individual voluntarism to organizational involvement to electoral participation. It can include efforts to directly address an issue, work with others in a community to solve a problem or interact with the institutions of representative democracy. Civic engagement encompasses a range of specific activities such as working in a soup kitchen, serving on a neighborhood association, writing a letter to an elected official or voting.

Indeed, an underlying principle of our approach is that an engaged citizen should have the ability, agency, and opportunity to move comfortably among these various types of civic acts.

Source: Michael Delli Carpini, Director, Public Policy, The Pew Charitable Trusts.

History of the Dumke Center

Kay's Gift


Katherine W. "Kay" Dumke devoted a lifetime to making the Salt Lake community a better place. As an active community volunteer and member of the Junior League of Salt Lake city, she worked with the American Red cross, the Utah Historical Society, the Juvenile Court intake office, and the Neighborhood House.

A lifelong Girl Scout, Kay appreciated the beauty of nature and supported Red Butte Garden and the National Wildflower Research Center, where she served under Lady Bird Johnson.

Kay enjoyed art, music, and literature, and she shared her love of beauty through her service at the Salt Lake Art Center, the Kimball Art Center, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts Sculpture Committee. Leading by example, she promoted philanthropy and community engagement by establishing and presiding over the Katherine W. Dumke and Ezekiel R. Dumke, Jr. Foundation. Since 1988 the foundation has benefited hundreds of charitable organizations and causes.

In 2015 Kay blessed the Center for Civic Engagement with the means to continue and expand the essential commitment to civic engagement at Westminster College.

In recognition of the legacy of this wonderful woman and her devotion to lifting the lives of other, Westminster College has named our program for community involvement and service the Katherine W. Dumke Center for Civic Engagement.

History and accomplishments

The Dumke Center for Civic Engagement started as the Volunteer Center in 1999 through Student Development. The Volunteer Center grew and expanded in accordance with the college's growing commitment to civic enactment. Students, staff, and faculty alike challenged the campus to get involved in the surrounding community.

Former President Bassis recognized that Center as a strategic initiative in 2006. The Center was placed under the guidance of the Provost's office.

Since 2005, the Dumke Center for Civic Engagement has reached 13,115 students through our programming. The total number of student service hours that includes both service-learning in the curriculum and co-curriculum since 2005 is 488,492.

The Dumke Center has been awarded The Carnegie Classification in Community Engagement and Partnerships and The President's Honor Roll of Community Engagement the past 9 years, 2 years with distinction.

In the 2011–12 academic year, 64% of first-year students indicated they were involved in collegiate service. Their retention rate was 79% vs. 67% of those who did not report service in their first year of college.