Westminster Named to Presidential Honor Roll for Community Service
February 19, 2009
The Corporation for National and Community Service honored Westminster College recently with a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to America’s communities.
“We are thrilled that Westminster College has been named to the Honor Roll for the third consecutive year,” said Gary Daynes, associate provost for integrative learning at Westminster College. “This recognition is evidence that Westminster’s students, staff and faculty are deeply committed to community service and to the learning that comes from it.”
Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Honorees for the award were chosen based on a series of selection factors including scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of students participating in service activities, incentives for service and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.
Westminster’s commitment to the community extends throughout all of its activities. During the 2007-2008 school year, 57 classes included a service-learning component. All of the college’s clubs and organizations complete at least one service project every year. One whole day during First-Year Student Orientation is committed to community service. Additionally, hundreds of Westminster students provide service each semester. These activities are coordinated and supported by the college’s Center for Civic Engagement.
Westminster’s service addresses a wide range of issues. Last year several business students began a micro-lending project to help reduce poverty in Kenya. The college’s Social Science Club is partnering with the Sudanese village of Duk Padiet to build a school. Closer to home, Westminster math students work with East High School to improve student performance in mathematics, while students in environmental biology have carried out several projects to make Westminster’s own campus more sustainable.
“We believe that service makes our students better learners, employees and citizens. And it makes communities healthier, wherever in the world they are located,” Daynes said.
“In this time of economic distress, we need volunteers more than ever,” said Stephen Goldsmith, vice chair of the board of directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees the Honor Roll. “College students represent an enormous pool of idealism and energy to help tackle some of our toughest challenges. “We salute Westminster for making community service a campus priority, and thank the millions of college students who are helping to renew America through service to others.”
Overall, the corporation honored six schools with presidential awards. In addition, 83 were named as Honor Roll with Distinction members and 546 schools as Honor Roll members.