The University of Scranton is proud to be part of the City of Scranton, with its campus located just adjacent to Courthouse Square. The Office of Community Relations seeks to help support the continued renaissance of the downtown and the vitality of the wider region of Northeastern Pennsylvania by sharing resources and information and by encouraging interaction between students, faculty, and staff and area businesses. 

University-Downtown Engagement Initiative
Student Spending

Discounts for Students
Foursquare Social Media
Royal Card Merchant Program- NEW Downtown Pilot Program
Share your News: Business Update & Ads in Student Newspaper 
Community Relations’ University Calendar
Local Purchasing
Downtown Map

University-Downtown Engagement Initiative

The University-Downtown Engagement Initiative is now entering its fifth year.  These efforts included special events and promotions designed to raise the awareness of students, faculty, staff and parents with downtown Scranton offerings.  The activities help to familiarize the campus community with the various shopping, dining, entertainement and cultural offerings downtown and to increase their engagement in the downtown area.  

The initiative is undertaken in cooperation with community and campus partners - University’s Small Business Development Center, Center for Student Engagement, Office of Residence Life, as well as Scranton Tomorrow and the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.  These efforts have received recognition from both higher education and community organizations. In March 2013, the project received a Bronze Accolade Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and in May 2013 was recognized as a Partner of the Year from Scranton Tomorrow.

2014 Survey: Findings from a recent survey, indicatehas a marked increase in student awareness and patronage of the myriad businesses just steps from the campus. View highlights from the survey.

Tours: Every summer and fall, since 2011, the University conducts "FAM" tours familiarizing 85 Resident Assistants and 40 Faculty and Staff with downtown businesses, in cooperation with Scranton Tomorrow.  View highlights from the 2014 RA Tour and Scavenger Hunt 2.0.

Special Events: The fifth annual Downtown Scavenger Hunt took place on August 28, 2015, with 280 students participating.  In 2014, 250 students participated in the third "Electric City Downtown Nite," highlighting First Friday and including 12 restaurants. This fall, the event is planned for Oct. 2, 2015. 

Leveraging Major Campus Events: During Family Weekend downtown eateries participate in the Family Table discount program.  

Promotions: New in 2013 was an employee summer lunch discount program. The "Shop Scranton, Shop Local" holiday promotion will be rolled out just before Thanksgiving and concludes the fall semester's downtown engagement events.  

Service: University student government, alumni and the Office of Community Relations work with Scranton Tomorrow to beautify the planters in downtown Scranton as part of Scranton Tomorrow's "Adopt-a-Planter" initiative, and as a component of the University's semi-annual "Street Sweep".  Around 100 students and alumni plant flowers in over 75 planters.  In the 2013-2014 academic year, the University and community partners won a $1,000 grant from Pennsylvania American Water's Community Investment Challenge to support the downtown planter spring beautification project.  

Meetings with Businesses: Downtown businesses and organizations gathered with University representatives to discuss “University-Downtown Engagement” each May - to review past efforts and look ahead to new opportunities for collaboration.  The Office of Community Relations first launched efforts to increase connections with downtown businesses and cultural venues in May, 2011 and holds an annual meeting to discuss new opportunities. View highlights from the 2014 meeting.      

Below find several additional links highlighting this initiative from its start in 2011.  

Downtown businesses interested in participating in these types of initiatives can contact community@scranton.edu or call 941-4419.  

Student Spending

For the past several years, the University of Scranton, together with the other colleges in Lackawanna County, have surveyed their students on their weekly spending. In 2011, University of Scranton students reported spending more than $1.4 million each month in a number of categories (e.g. shopping, dining, entertainment, rent, utilities, groceries, etc.).  The full results of the 2011 student spending survey can be viewed here.

Discounts for Students

Downtown businesses can provide 10% discounts to University of Scranton students (and students at the other eight colleges in Lackawanna County) through the “Show It, Save It” program, coordinated by Scranton Tomorrow.  Students receive the discount by simply showing their college ID and businesses can post a decal in their window to indicate their participation in the program. 

View a special Show it, Save it Map listing the current businesses in the program. Contact Scranton Tomorrow to be added to this list at 570-963-1575 or leslie@scrantontomorrow.org

Foursquare Location-Based Social Media Network

Foursquare is one of the fastest growing location-based social networks on campuses across the country.  It allows smartphone users to "check in" at their current locations, earn "badges" based on those check-ins, locate friends, and get tips and specials for area businesses and venues. The University of Scranton has recently launched an official brand page on Foursquare: http://foursquare.com/univofscranton.  By joining Foursquare and “claiming” your location, businesses can offer special promotions and get to know their customers.   To get started on Foursquare, see this step-by-step guide for businesses and the Foursquare blog for special tips.  Interested businesses can also contact the Office of Community Relations at community@scranton.edu or 570-941-4419. 

Royal Card Merchant Program

Through a cooperative test project organized by Scranton Tomorrow, the City of Scranton and the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, University students, faculty and staff can use their Royal Cards at six merchants in the downtown and greater Scranton area.  For more information visit the Royal Card Merchant program page

A NEW pilot prgram is in effect as of Februray 2014. The NEW Royal Card Pilot Program can be used by students, faculty and staff at any of the 4 new locations: The Mall at Steamtown, which includes more than 50 stores, restaurants and services, Marquee Cinemas, Northern Light Espresso Bar and Lavish Body and Home.

Share your News: Business Update & Ads in Student Newspaper

Business Update: The University of Scranton shared business news, special discounts and events  through a special monthly "Downtown Scranton Business Update" that resides on the Community Relations website and is included in “Royal News,” an email newsletter sent to faculty, staff, students and alumni.  To be included in the business update, please send an email to community@scranton.edu with the subject line, “Business Update”.  All submissions are subject to University approval and should be submitted by the last Thursday of each month for inclusion in the first Royal News of the month.  

Advertising in the Student Newspaper: The Aquinas is a great way to spread the word among University students.  Advertising is not free; prices vary.  Contact the Advertising Manager at AquinasAdvertising@gmail.com for information on rates and available ad space.  

Community Relations’ University Calendar

There are multiple University events throughout the year that bring in parents, alumni and other visitors from out of town and provide special business marketing opportunities.  The University welcomes efforts to help increase the connection between campus and downtown life.   

View the Calendar as HTML page

View the Calendar in PDF Format

Local Purchasing

The University of Scranton makes 42% of its purchasing through local merchants and vendors in Northeastern Pennsylvania and always considers purchasing locally where possible.   

If you are a local or area business interested in working with the University of Scranton, please send information about your firm, identify the products and services you provide, list a contact person, and provide references to purchasing@scranton.edu or call the University’s Purchasing Department at (570) 941-6214.

Downtown Map

The University makes available a special downtown Scranton map to students (current and prospective), faculty, staff and visitors to campus.  The map was created in collaboration with Scranton Tomorrow and includes downtown businesses, restaurants, places of worship and entertainment opportunities.  If you are a downtown business or venue not listed on the map, and would like to be added, please contact community@scranton.edu or call 941-4419.

We want to hear from you!  Questions? Contact the Office of Community Relations at 570-941-4419 or community@scranton.edu.