Arlington, VA - Marymount University has been named to the 2009 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. This is the second year in a row that the University has been so recognized.
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. On campuses across the country, thousands of students joined their faculty to develop innovative programs and projects to meet local needs using the skills gained in their classrooms. 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. A full list of recognized colleges and universities is available at www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll.
Marymount University President James E. Bundschuh stated, "Service is a hallmark of a Marymount education, so we certainly encourage volunteerism. And every year I am impressed by the extent to which our students' willingly share their time and talents, and develop new ways to assist those in need."
During the 2008-09 academic year, more than 900 Marymount University students gave over 16,000 hours of service in the local community and farther afield. Projects included:
- Outreach to children:
- On-campus events like HalloweenFest, an annual party for children from local schools and shelters, and the Special Olympics Regional Basketball Tournament that is hosted by the University each spring.
- Science fair judging at local schools
- Tutoring children at the Greenbrier Learning Center
- Bringing disadvantaged middle-school children to campus through the Kids-to-College program to show them that college is possible and to introduce them to program options, career paths, and campus life
- Providing sports clinics for approximately 250 children, helping them improve skills and serving as role models for team spirit, fair play, and good sportsmanship
- The Global Charity Project (GCP), a student-led organization that raises funds for projects that help people build sustainable futures. Last fall, the group raised over $4,000 for construction of a well in the village of Masongbo-loko in Sierra Leone. In the spring, they again raised over $,4000, this time for the expansion and improvement of a home for street children in El Progreso, Honduras. GCP members also volunteered at the DC Central food Kitchen and partnered with the Arlington Community Foundation to help local high school student develop a youth philanthropy program in Arlington.
- Community health outreach through the Physical Therapy Free Clinic run by Marymount PT faculty and students at the Arlington Free Clinic; the Nurse-Managed Health Center at Arlington's St. Charles Borromeo Community Center; and volunteer work at a clinic in Belize through a summer Community Health course.
- Ongoing volunteer activities in the community, including mentoring young people, food drives, park and stream clean ups, spending time with senior citizens, and helping with charity fund-raising events.
Patrick Corvington, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, offered his congratulations to Marymount and thanked the University's students "for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities." He added, "Our nation's students are a critical part of the equation and vital to our efforts to tackle the most persistent challenges we face. They have achieved impactful results and demonstrated the value of putting knowledge into practice to help renew America through service."
College students make a significant contribution to the volunteer sector; in 2009, 3.16 million students performed more than 300 million hours of service, according to the Volunteering in America study released by the Corporation. Each year, the Corporation invests more than $150 million in fostering a culture of service on college campuses through grants awarded by its programs; 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.
The Corporation 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.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more five million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs, and leads President Obama's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit www.nationalservice.gov.