Young children stand in front of Pete the Panther on Chapman University's campus
Community Relations

» Community Involvement: Giving Back

As students, faculty, and staff enter Chapman University, they quickly learn how central the University’s mission of global citizenship really is. They also realize that global citizenship begins at home in Orange County. In fact, students alone contribute approximately 100,000 hours of service each year through in-classroom and out-of-classroom experiences.

Please click the tabs below to see a few examples of how Chapman is helping to support the positive world of tomorrow.

Areas of Engagement

Toggle Section


Chapman University is committed to making higher education accessible for all through various mentoring programs and partnerships with local schools and non-profit organizations.


Group of Chapman University Simon STEM Scholars stand in front of Orange High SchoolSimon STEM Scholars

The Simon STEM Scholarship Program is a six-year process that begins during a student’s junior year while attending Orange High School and continues through four years at Chapman University. Each year, five students are selected based on their GPA and desire to pursue a career in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) discipline. After graduating high school, scholars are awarded a full scholarship to the University, including room and board.


Students from the Santa Ana community, grades pre-kindergarten through high school, join Chapman students as a part of the Centro Comunitario de Educacion.The purpose of the center is to promote literacy and education to young adults in the surrounding community.Centro Comunitario de Educación

The Centro Comunitario de Educación is a pre-kindergarten through adult learning center run by the Chapman University Donna Ford Attallah College of Educational Studies. The purpose of the Center is to promote literacy and education for the Santa Ana community and its surroundings.


Chapman students join local teens at their high schools as mentors. This mentoring program was designed so Chapman students can build meaningful relationships with local teens and support them through college and career exploration. Futuros Brillantes Teen Mentoring Program

The Futuros Brillantes Teen Mentoring Program is a year-long program that pairs Chapman student mentors with Santa Ana high school students. Mentees explore career options and learn how to become a more effective leader, while obtaining emotional support from their mentors.


Chapman students assist young adults from at-risk communities in Anaheim with filming and editing their own shows. This mentoring program was designed to highlight post-secondary education and show young students all the opportunity that lies ahead.Higher Ground

Higher Ground is a nonprofit gang prevention program located in Anaheim that provides mentoring for youth and their families in at-risk communities. Undergraduates at the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts have the opportunity to guide young adults toward hope and self-esteem by assisting them in filming and editing their very own shows. Chapman professors teach workshops, highlighting post-secondary education, financial aid opportunities, and local issues that impact our community as a whole.


Chapman University is proud to support the Friendly Center in Orange, CAFriendly Center

Headquartered in the City of Orange, Friendly Center provides a variety of free programs for struggling families to get back on their feet. The University is proud to support this worthwhile organization through service on the organization’s board of directors and in-kind and financial support. Additionally, the University places about twenty work-study students as tutors at the Friendly Center each year.

Diversity and Culture

Chapman University is deeply committed to enriching diversity and inclusion through ongoing efforts to cultivate a welcoming community for students, faculty, staff, and neighbors.


Two dancers from the Arts and Culture Fiesta show off their colorful dresses as they twirl. The WorldCAFE event is hosted at chapman University to celebrate the culture of Mexico. WorldCAFE Series

Presented by Musco Center for the Arts, these day-long celebrations salute a different country or part of the world that connects back to our surrounding region, to showcase both the traditional art forms and how those forms have evolved here in California. Past events have featured Mexico and Hawaiian music and culture. Admission is free and open to the public.


Students, faculty, and staff converse outside Memorial Hall at Chapman University Chapman Diversity Project

The Chapman Diversity Project endeavors to bring students, faculty, staff, and the community together for meaningful dialogue focusing on developing strategic priorities and recommendations for diversity and inclusion at the University. Advisory groups include those on disability, faith, people of color, LGBTQ+, and people of color, among others.


Members of the Orange Barrio Historical Society view old photographs at the Cypress Street Schoolhouse at Chapman UniversityOrange Barrio Historical Society

The Orange Barrio Historical Society (OBHS) is dedicated to preserving the history and culture of Orange’s Cypress Street Barrio and Chapman is thrilled to support their efforts. The Cypress Street School House, while serving as the University’s headquarters for the maternal-child health research program by day, moonlights as a meeting location and miniature museum for OBHS.


House located in Old Towne Orange. Chapman University is proud to partner with Old Towne Preservation Association to bring new life to Old Towne landmarks. Old Towne Preservation Association

Old Towne Preservation Association (OTPA) was established to preserve, protect and enhance Old Towne Orange, the largest residential historic district in California. Chapman frequently collaborates with the organization to ensure that Chapman-owned homes are restored and renovated to historical standards. The University was also awarded OTPA’s Good Neighbor award in 2017 for the construction of the Musco Center of the Arts.

Business and Economy

Chapman University is a member of several Chambers of Commerce, including Orange, Newport Beach, Irvine, and Santa AnaChambers of Commerce

Chapman University is proud to be active members in the Orange, Greater Irvine, Santa Ana and Newport Beach Chambers of Commerce. We also launched our first-ever Merchant’s Day event in 2017, which invited local businesses to campus in order to market their services to our students, faculty, and staff.


Two students gather around a computer to work on an experiment. Studies are done to provide research and statistics for upcoming studies at Chapman. Economic Science Institute

Chapman’s Economic Science Institute, founded by Nobel Laureate Vernon L. Smith, hosts a series of free lectures and workshops on various aspects of economics for all community members with an interest in the topic.


Jim Doti gives a speech at the Economic ForecastA. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research

Established in 1979, the mission of the A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research is to engage in high-quality economic and business research while also disseminating this research to the local community. The Center also hosts Chapman’s well-known Economic Forecast in December and the Economic Forecast Update in June.

Environmental Sustainability

Chapman University is committed to a culture that promotes a sustainable future. Through green-focused educational programs, research, and community engagement, Chapman encourages its students, faculty and staff to help preserve the planet.


OC Watershed Ambassadors teach environmental education to 5th graders in Orange CountyOC Watershed Education Ambassadors

In partnership with the Public Works department of the county government, the OC Watershed Education Ambassador program engages Chapman undergraduates in environmental education within our surrounding communities. Students develop presentations for 5th graders on preventing water pollution, and they are then facilitated in local after-school programs and elementary schools.


Students in the Roots Native Habitat Restoration program restore wildliffe in the Upper Newport Bay areaRoots Native Habitat Restoration

Roots Native Habitat Restoration works to restore the habitat and wildlife in the Upper Newport Bay area, one of the few remaining wetlands in California. Chapman students have the opportunity to work alongside community members and get hands-on experience in improving ecosystem dynamics. Volunteers assist with invasive plant removal, watering native plants, seed collection, propagation, and planting.


Orange Home Grown has a farmer's market and an educational farm to promote sustainability within the City of Orange and beyondOHG Education Farm and Farmer’s Market

With a unique collaboration between the University and the non-profit community group Orange Home Grown (OHG), the OHG Education Farm opened in May 2016, at 356 N. Lemon St. and teaches the value and know-how of producing locally grown food. Chapman supports the farm and weekly Farmer’s & Artisans Market by providing the spaces to OHG, including restroom facilities, completely free of charge.


Chapman University donates extra produce from the trees on its properties to local food pantriesThe Fruit Project

The University has partnered with the O.C. Food Access Coalition to harvest excess fruit from Chapman-owned rental properties throughout Old Towne. All produce is donated to Friendly Center and Mary’s Kitchen, just a few miles from our campus.


Chapman students come together to pick up trash and litter throughout Old Towne Orange.Community Clean-Up Crew

Chapman students canvas the streets surrounding the University campus Thursday – Sunday to pick up and dispose of litter left behind by visitors over the weekend. Approximately 23,000 pieces of trash are picked up each year by Chapman students in Old Towne.

Professional Services

Employees of the military, veteran, and law institute gather outside their office. The clinic provides legal representation for clients, as well as assists qualified students to get fellowships. Free and Low-Cost Legal Services

The Military and Veterans Law Institute provides legal assistance to veterans, active duty military and their families. The Alona Cortese Elder Law Clinic provides legal assistance to senior citizens. The Bette and Wylie Aitken Family Protection Clinic provides immigration and family law assistance for victims of domestic violence. Finally, the Tax Law Clinic provides legal aid for disadvantaged taxpayers who otherwise could not afford representation.


Students come together to talk about the importance of mental health and where they can find resources on campus. Low-Cost Mental Health Services 

The Frances Smith Center for Individual and Family Therapy (also known as the Chapman University Community Clinic) offers counseling for the community on a sliding scale from $15 - $60 per session, based on the gross income of the family. Therapists are MFT trainees under the direct supervision of licensed clinical faculty.