Xavier University is among 635 institutions of higher learning throughout the United States named to the 2008 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The honorees were recognized during the American Council on Education Annual Conference in Washington on February 8.
“What good news, coming so closely on the heels of our honor from the Carnegie Commission,” said the Rev Michael J. Graham, S.J., president of Xavier University.
“In this time of economic distress, we need volunteers more than ever. College students represent an enormous pool of idealism and energy to help tackle some of our toughest challenges,” said Nicola Goren, acting CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees the Honor Roll. “We salute these universities for making community service a campus priority, and thank the millions of college students who are helping to renew America through service to others.”
The Honor Roll, launched in 2006, recognizes colleges and universities nationwide that support innovative and effective community service and service-learning programs. For a complete list of third annual honor roll honorees, visit www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll. Recent studies have underlined the importance of service-learning and volunteering to college students. In 2006, 2.8 million college students gave more than 297 million hours of volunteer service, according to the Corporation’s Volunteering in America 2007 study. Using Independent Sector’s estimates of the value of volunteer time, college student volunteering was worth more than $5.6 billion last year.
“Thanks to everyone's efforts around service and engagement, Xavier has received another national honor,” says Byron White, Associate Vice President of Community Engagement at Xavier. “It is a credit to a host of efforts - both curricular and co-curricular – outlined by Xavier President Michael J. Graham, S.J.” White especially thanked Irene Hodgson, Director of Academic Service Learning Semesters, who encouraged the University to formally seek this designation, and Kimberlie Goldsberry, Executive Director of Student Involvement, who gathered much of the data required for a successful application.
Each year, the Corporation invests more than $150 million in fostering a culture of service on college campuses through grants; the education awards that AmeriCorps members receive at the conclusion of their term of service to pay for college; and through support of training, research, recognition, and other initiatives to spur college service.
“This is great news and a tribute to many years of work by many Xavier people,” said John Kucia, Xavier’s Administrative Vice President. “This is just one more honor that differentiates Xavier.”
The Corporation’s Learn and Serve America program, in particular, is a catalyst for service-learning programs nationwide that connect community service with academic curriculum. Through these programs, in class and in extracurricular activities, college students serve others in their communities while strengthening their academic and civic skills. In addition, service-learning fosters partnerships between colleges and their communities that strengthens communities and meets immediate community needs.
The Honor Roll is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and is sponsored by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation and the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, in partnership with Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. Each year, the Corporation engages four million Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America programs. For more information, visit http://www.nationalservice.gov.