Stories of community resilience and rapid innovation have emerged during the global pandemic caused by COVID-19. As communities, organizations, and individuals have had to shift modalities during the pandemic, they have identified ways to sustain community well-being. Prior to COVID-19, colleges and universities were hailed as anchors of economic and social resilience and well-being for communities of place. In this light, this commentary highlights stories of rapid community innovation occurring at Hobart & William Smith Colleges in the Finger Lakes region of New York. A series of vignettes are presented showcasing lessons and on-going questions regarding rapid pivots, community values, and diversity and inclusion during (and after) the pandemic. Overall, these insights can inform future local collaborative development efforts post-COVID-19 between colleges/universities and their local community.