Institute for Civic Involvement

Institute for Civic Involvement

"The establishment of the Institute for Civic Involvement at Pine Crest School has enabled the school to greatly expand the opportunities for responsible civic action among its students. The hope of our country is with our young people - young people who have the courage of informed conviction together with a determination to articulate it effectively. We must recognize the importance of specialized formal training, interspersed with internship, for the profession of public service".
In 1975, Pine Crest School began construction of the Institute for Civic Involvement (ICI). At the groundbreaking ceremony, then Headmaster William J. McMillan said, "As we break ground for the new Institute for Civic Involvement, we are taking an important step in laying the cornerstone for a more knowledgeable participation in the political process by tomorrow's leaders."

On October 29, 1976, the new building was opened with great celebration. The mayor of Fort Lauderdale, E. Clay Shaw, proclaimed October 29 to be Civic Involvement Day in the City of Fort Lauderdale. Students, parents, and more than 200 members of the community attended.

The Institute was made possible by a generous gift from Mr. and Mrs. Robert G. Friedman - a result of their commitment to American democracy and all its values. The Friedmans' belief in student citizenship made Pine Crest School a pioneer in this field for secondary education. At the time of completion, according to Pine Crest's founder, Dr. Mae McMillan, it was the only institute of its kind in America at the preparatory school level.

The ICI Today

Today, the two-story ICI building includes a lecture hall/auditorium with seating capacity for 396 people, a research and reference library, seminar rooms, classrooms and offices.

Over the years, the ICI has welcomed politicians, academics, and trailblazers in a variety of professional fields to Pine Crest. In its early years, ICI programming focused on American politics. In keeping with the School's mission of preparing students to meet the challenges of our future, the ICI has broadened its focus to include investigation of global issues by fostering dialogue between students, faculty, and guest presenters.

One of the programs organized and hosted by the ICI is the Holocaust Awareness Symposium. Each year, the entire freshman class has the opportunity to meet and speak with Holocaust survivors, hear stories of resilience, and ask questions.

The annual High School Voter Registration (HSVR) is also organized by the ICI with the help and support of the Broward Supervisor of Elections.

Recent Highlights of the ICI Program
  • The September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance Assembly provides an opportunity for the Upper School community to reflect on the events of 9/11 and honor those who lost their lives.
  • Day(s) of Service is an annual tradition in the Upper School in which seniors and freshmen perform acts of service for the community.
  • The Veteran's Day Assembly is an opportunity for the Upper School community to honor and celebrate veterans in our local community and abroad for their service and sacrifice to our country.
  • Playing for Change is an annual concert featuring performances by Upper School students to raise funds for a charitable cause.
  • CommUnity Conversations is designed to allow Upper School students the space to share their perspectives and gain insight from one another regarding topical issues.
  • The Student Advisory Board is a student committee that serves as a voice of the student body in the planning and execution of ICI programming


ICI Coordinator