May 17, 2011

Local Colleges Receive Presidential Recognition for Community Service

The much-anticipated 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll was announced last week by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). And many local colleges and universities were among the 641 recognized for their support of volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement, including Virginia’s Emory & Henry College—one of only 11 national “Finalists” for the highest award.

“As members of the class of 2011 cross the stage to pick up their diplomas, more and more will be going into the world with a commitment to public service,” said Patrick A. Corvington, chief executive officer of the CNCS. “We salute all the Honor Roll awardees for embracing their civic mission and providing opportunities for their students to tackle tough national challenges through service.”

More than 850 institutions applied for the 2010 Honor Roll—a nine percent increase over last year. CNCS, which has administered the Honor Roll since 2006, named 511 colleges and universities to the Honor Roll based on their impact on community-based issues ranging from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth.

Among these, only six schools were named Presidential Awardees including Augsburg College, San Francisco State University, St. Mary’s University, Rollins College, Loyola of Chicago, and California State University.

One of the 2010 “Finalists,” Emory and Henry earned the Presidential Award in 2009 for a series of projects designed to increase living standards among residents of surrounding rural communities. The college has continued its commitment to civic engagement and service-learning with an emphasis on “empowering individuals and groups to generate solutions from within the community.”

On campuses all over the country, millions of college students are engaged in innovative projects to meet local needs, often using the skills learned in classrooms. They also bring with them an increasing dedication to volunteerism inspired by high school community service activities.

In 2009, 3.2 million college students dedicated more than 307 million hours of service to communities across the country, valued at more than $6.4 billion. Undergraduate volunteers provided meals, created parks, rebuilt homes after disasters, conducted job training, ran senior service projects, and much more.

Area colleges named to the Honor Roll with Distinction included Mary Baldwin College, the College of William & Mary, and Washington and Lee University.

American University, Georgetown, George Washington, the University of the District of Columbia, Loyola of Maryland, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Towson, UMBC, the Maryland Institute of Art, James Madison University, Marymount University, the University of Mary Washington, Hollins University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Tech, the University of Richmond, Bluefield College, Lynchburg College, and Roanoke College were among the local schools earning Honor Roll status.

CNCS oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact, and the American Council on Education. Honorees were chosen based on a number of factors including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, school commitment to campus-community partnerships, and measurable community outcomes.

For a full list of recipients and descriptions of their service, visit the CNCS website.

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