MAGNOLIA – Southern Arkansas University has been named to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.
The Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the annual Honor Roll award, recognized more than 700 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from poverty and homelessness to environmental justice. SAU is once again the only public university in Arkansas to earn recognition on the Honor Roll. Two private institutions in the state were listed: Ecclesia College in Springdale and Harding University in Searcy.
“As members of the class of 2011 crossed the stage to pick up their diplomas, more and more went into the world with a commitment to public service and the knowledge that they can make a difference in their communities and their own lives through service to others, thanks to the leadership of these institutions,” said Patrick A. Corvington, chief executive officer of CNCS. “Congratulations to Southern Arkansas University and its students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities. 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.”
Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors including the scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses. SAU highlighted three service projects in its application for the 2010 Honor Roll award. Those projects included providing “charity trees” to local non-profit organizations at Christmas; National Night Out, an outreach event sponsored by the University Police Department, and the Angel Tree project, a service to provide gifts for underprivileged children at Christmas. SAU officials reported a total of 250,620 community service hours performed by students, faculty, and staff in 2010.
“Our student organization leaders are aware of the importance of participating in community service projects, and I am pleased that their efforts have been recognized,” said Dr. Donna Allen, vice president for student affairs.
On campuses across the country, millions of college students are engaged in innovative projects to meet local needs, often using the skills learned in classrooms. In 2010, 3.2 million college students dedicated more than 307 million hours of service to communities across the country, service valued at more than $6.4 billion. Business and law students offer tax preparation and legal services, and college student volunteers provide meals, create parks, rebuild homes after disasters, conduct job training, run senior service programs, and much more.
The Corporation for National and Community Service oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.