The Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) is pleased to announce that Aramark Collegiate Hospitality and Annie E. Casey Foundation have been named title sponsors for the 2022 CUMU Annual Conference—The Essential Role of Urban and Metropolitan Universities.

CUMU’s 27th annual conference will take place October 23–26 in San Diego, CA, and invites attendees to consider the essential role urban and metropolitan universities play in leading a recovery grounded in community, equity, and innovation.

“CUMU’s annual conference provides space and opportunity for attendees to exchange ideas to enable intentional, transformative change involving students, faculty, staff, and community partners across our coalition,” said CUMU Executive Director Valerie Holton. “The work and support of Aramark and Annie E. Casey aligns perfectly with the work of CUMU, our member institutions, and this year’s conference theme. On behalf of the CUMU Executive Committee, I want to thank both organizations for their continued support.”

Aramark is a leading global provider of food, facilities and uniform services to education, healthcare, business and industry, and sports, leisure, and corrections clients. Aramark’s higher education division—Aramark Collegiate Hospitality—is the only food service company with a full-time Farm to Institution role dedicated to getting food directly from local farmers to chefs. Aramark Collegiate Hospitality puts words into action with shared sustainability goals focused on developing diverse and inclusive sourcing and local seafood initiatives.

“Aramark Collegiate Hospitality supports CUMU because we share such commonalities as community-based economic enterprise, workforce pathways, and community involvement,” said Jack Donovan, President and CEO. “This conference provides a flashpoint of ideation—a chance for members to celebrate the agility they have shown throughout the pandemic, while looking ahead with purpose in order to address sustainability, equity, and innovation. As a higher education hospitality partner, we are energized by the voices of CUMU and excited to be part of this mission.”

In a time when the value of higher education is being questioned, the CUMU annual conference highlights how CUMU members achieve their place-based missions, create transformative outcomes for students, and work to create equitable and sustainable outcomes for the communities they serve.

“Aramark is ​honored to support CUMU as ​its member institutions convene to enrich metropolitan communities where they reside while strengthening their core commitment to teaching and research,” said Fenimore Fisher, Aramark’s VP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. “Focusing on people and positive change will always be a core value and a driving force as we strive to be the most admired employer and trusted hospitality partner. ​CUMU’s annual conference ​serves as a platform for thought leaders to measure effective strategies that contribute to society ​with equitable ​and sustainable outcomes. Our employees are an integral part of our community collaboration and through our Employee Resource Groups, Ally network and STAR Teams, we are advancing our diversity equity and inclusion goals as well as creating meaningful volunteer opportunities to serve others.”

CUMU members are mission-driven organizations inextricably linked to the long-term well-being of those they serve. Because of this, they are uniquely positioned and incentivized to play a more active role in being responsive to the needs of their local communities.

“Institutions of higher learning play critical roles in generating opportunities for young people. CUMU has been at the forefront of efforts to share results and actionable lessons about how colleges and universities can be more responsive to the needs and interests of their surrounding communities,” said Charles Rutheiser, senior associate in the Center for Civic Sites and Community Change at the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation is a private philanthropy that creates a brighter future for the nation’s children by developing solutions to strengthen families, build paths to economic opportunity and transform struggling communities into safer and healthier places to live, work and grow.

“Our members value the CUMU mission and are seeking new opportunities, such as our annual conference, to explore ways to connect and collaborate in exciting ways to help transform their communities. The support of Aramark Collegiate Hospitality and the Annie E. Casey Foundation will help guide those conversations at this year’s conference,” added Holton.