University & College Town Summit 2019

Join IDA and Hillsborough Street Community Service Corporation for the 2019 University & College Town Summit April 3-4, 2019 in Raleigh, NC to share strategies, build partnerships, and find inspiration. This summit will focus on the unique downtowns that host colleges and universities as the backdrop to their urban spaces.

Raleigh/Durham is known globally as the Research Triangle. It is famous for its college basketball along “Tobacco Road” and its respearch universities: NC State University, Duke University andUNC Chapel Hill University.  As a “Brain Hub” with a technology-based economy, over 1000 people move to Raleigh each month for its innovative and entrepreneurial economy and high quality of life.  See Town/Gown partnerships and placemaking in action in one of the fastest growing regions in the nation.  

The Hillsborough Street Community Service Corporation (HSCSC) is an independent, not for profit, municipal service district created in the fall of 2009 by the City of Raleigh in partnership with N.C. State University and the property owners, merchants and residents on and around Hillsborough Street. HSCSC, better known as Live It Up! Hillsborough Street, is a 3-mile long corridor that includes a diverse collection of businesses, organizations, institutions and residential options. See you in Raleigh!

Attend the Event

The University & College Town Summit will be held at the Aloft Hotel located at 2100 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27607, and at various locations on Hillsborough Street. View the map to see where the event will take place and also get ideas of places to eat and visit along Live It Up! Hillsborough Street in Raleigh, NC. 

Online registration is now closed for the 2019 University & College Town Summit. You may register onsite at the Aloft Hotel at 2100 Hillsborough Street, April 3-4, 2019. The onsite registration rate is $225.
Registration Hours:
•Wednesday, April 3: 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
•Thursday, April 4: 7:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
For further information or assistance, please email the IDA registration team at


The Program

View the program (program is subject to change).

Get social! What questions will you come ready to ask? Share them on Twitter using #CollegeTowns19.


2019 Master Talks 

David Dixon, FAIA, Planning and Urban Design Leader, Stantec’s Urban Places
David Dixon, FAIA, Urban Places planning and urban design leader, received the American Institute of Architects’ Thomas Jefferson Medal for “a lifetime of…significant achievement in [creating]…livable neighborhoods, vibrant civic spaces, and vital downtowns.” Since 2014 he has led planning for more than $10 billion in new and revitalized urban districts in both urban and suburban settings.



Justine Hollingshead, Chief of Staff and Assistant Vice Chancellor / Packapalooza Planning Team Co-Chair, NC State University Division of Academic and Student Affairs (DASA)
Justine Hollingshead has almost 30 years of success working as an administrator in higher education on various college campuses across the country, in addition to the business sector as well. She also assists with communication efforts, strategic planning, emergency preparedness, crisis response and event planning at NC State. Justine is a certified Small Unmanned Aircraft System (drone) pilot with the Federal Aviation Administration and the state of North Carolina. Ms. Hollingshead is also a certified Emergency Medical Technician in the state of North Carolina and has done medical service work across the country.

Nicole Thompson, President & CEO, Downtown Durham, Inc.
Nicole Thompson is the President & CEO of Downtown Durham, Inc., the primary organization responsible for Downtown Durham's growth and development over the last 25 years. Nicole joined DDI with more than 25 years of economic development and community revitalization experience in both rural and urban environments. She has worked in Colorado, North Carolina and, most extensively, in Virginia to include the Commonwealth of Virginia and the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth and King George and Fairfax Counties.


Pre-Conference Tour

Raleigh Growth Centers Bus Tour ($50)

Wednesday, April 3rd | 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Meeting location: Aloft Hotel ground floor entrance

Tour by bus the rapidly redeveloping downtown Raleigh; historic Hillsborough Street along NC State's campus; and the Blue Ridge Corridor, home to NC State's football and basketball stadiums, the NC Museum of Art and Art Park, and NC State Fair Grounds, plus multiple parks, greenways and open spaces. All three growth centers are managed by placemaking organizations.

NC State Campus Walking Tour - this tour has been canceled. 
Wednesday, April 3rd | 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.


Post-Conference Tour

Bus Tour of Downtown Chapel Hill and Durham, home to UNC Chapel Hill and Duke University ($75)

Friday, April 5th | 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Meeting location: Aloft Hotel ground floor entrance 

Raleigh/Durham, NC, known globally as the Research Triangle, is famous for its universities (NC State University, Duke University andUNC Chapel Hill) and "Tobacco Road” college basketball. See Town/Gown partnerships and placemaking in action at the other two corners of the Research Triangle. Visit downtown Durham – home to Duke University and then Chapel Hill – home to UNC Chapel Hill. Both universities have made significant investments along their campus edges and downtowns to support accelerated economic growth, redevelopment and successful university communities. Bring your luggage as the bus will stop at the RDU Airport at or before 3:00 p.m. then concluding back at the Aloft hotel on Hillsborough Street by 3:30 p.m.



The deadline for the Aloft Hotel, located at 2100 Hillsborough Street, has passed. Please call the hotel at (919) 828-9900 to inquire about reservations.


IDA Logo

Hillsborough Street CDC


Presenting Sponsors

Raleigh City    Live It Up      NC State    

District Advocates

BannerSaver      Block by Block      EcoCounterLogo       Geocentric       Sky Connect Networks   

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations received or postmarked by March 8, 2019 will receive a refund less a $100 processing fee. Refunds will be processed approximately 30 days after the event. Cancellations received after March 8, 2019 will not be refunded.


Sponsoring the University & College Town Summit allows you access to an audience of urban leaders from around the country who want to learn how your product or service can work for them. Download the 2019 Spring Sponsorship PDF to review sponsorship packages for the 2019 University & College Town Summit in Raleigh, NC. Contact Tracie Clemmer, IDA Director of Corporate Relations at for more information.


Interested in hosting a future event? Contact Carolyn Dellutri, IDA Director of Professional Development at