Partnering with a University


The majority of Clark Lindsey’s residents, a single site life plan community with 300 residents and the same number of staff, are retired alumni or faculty from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Interestingly, about 10 years ago, the university considered building its own retirement community for the same type of residents living at Clark Lindsey. While the college did not follow through on that plan, Clark Lindsey realized that the situation could occur again in the future.


Clark Lindsey established a formal partnership with the university and began a host of programs, including working with the university on research, coursework, internships, volunteer opportunities, etc. for residents and students. Click here to see an infographic of the different programs.

Implementation Details:

To establish the program, Clark Lindsey simply contacted professors and talked to them about opportunities they could offer their students, e.g., research, volunteering, etc., and offered to meet with them in person. Then, in preparation for these meetings, Clark Lindsey staff created marketing materials showcasing possible options. The relationship was built over time as each entity identified which programs would be beneficial in such a partnership. As it turned out, faculty and students were highly interested in the different opportunities available at Clark Lindsey.

Factors for Success:

  • Identify one staffer responsible for the program so that the university has a single point of contact
  • Simply reach out to university faculty without a specific ask – think of your goal initially as just making a new contact
  • Include a university representative on your board


While numerous outcomes are in the infographic, above, a few are highlighted below:

  • The university rents an apartment at Clark Lindsey and uses it as a research lab on aging issues that include residents
  • Clark Lindsey has partnered with the university on more than 20 courses
  • 90 students have gained over 24,500 hours of internship experience
  • 200 students have gained over 4,000 hours of clinical experience
  • Clark Lindsey residents and staff have contributed over 3,500 hours of volunteer service to the university

Need more information?

Contact Laura Edwards, Director of Strategic Initiatives or visit Clark Lindsey