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In the past quarter century, universities have committed themselves to greater engagement in their communities. They are increasingly seen as "anchor" institutions - whose physical presence is integral to the social, cultural, and economic wellbeing of the community. Urban-based universities in particular have recognized the many challenges facing their - and the nation's - cities. Understanding that their fortunes are tied in part to those of their neighbors and physical surroundings, many have expanded their efforts to engage new partners and address pressing community issues. In the process, they are broadening the education of students, improving neighborhoods and cities, helping strengthen other anchor institutions, and informing and advancing the larger society.