Mount Union College Named to Presidential Honor Roll For Community Service

February 09, 2009

The Corporation for National and Community Service honored Mount Union College today 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 pleased to once again be recognized by the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll as a member with distinction,” said Richard F. Giese, president of the College. “This places us as one of only five Ohio institutions to be honored at this level this year."

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 student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

“This is the third year that Mount Union has been named to the Honor Roll for Community Service and the second consecutive year we were named to the Honor Roll with Distinction, along with only The Ohio State University, Ohio Wesleyan University, Otterbein College and Wittenberg University from Ohio,” said Amanda Espenschied-Reilly, director of service-learning and community service at Mount Union. “Our special focus over the past year was on youth at risk, concentrating our efforts on youth programs and youth initiatives. Programs including Dowling Mentor, America Reads America Counts, the Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center Children’s Garden and others truly distinguishes our community service efforts. In addition, Make a Difference Day at Mount Union has evolved into a week long program of events and our Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service has continued to expand.”

“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 Stephen Goldsmith, vice chair of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees the Honor Roll. “We salute Mount Union College 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.  In total, 635 schools were recognized. A full list is available at www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll.

The Honor Roll is a program of the Corporation, in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is presented during the annual conference of the American Council on Education. 

“I offer heartfelt congratulations to those institutions named to the 2008 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. College and university students across the country are making a difference in the lives of others every day – as are the institutions that encourage their students to serve others,” said American Council on Education President Molly Corbett Broad.

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. Expanding campus incentives for service is part of a larger initiative to spur higher levels of volunteering by America’s college students. The Corporation is working with a coalition of federal agencies, higher education and student associations, and nonprofit organizations to achieve this goal.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. The Corporation administers Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America, a program that supports service-learning in schools, institutions of higher education and community-based organizations. For more information, go to www.nationalservice.gov.

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