Service Learning Efforts Earn Lawrence University National Honor Roll Recognition

For the fourth consecutive year, Lawrence University has been named to the 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.

Lawrence is one of only four Wisconsin institutions named to the Community Service Honor Roll every year since the program was launched in 2006. This year’s honor roll, announced by the Corporation for National and Community Service, recognized more than 700 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from poverty and homelessness to environmental justice in 2009.

“Preparing students for lives of responsible citizenship is a tenet of a Lawrence education and I am gratified that the dedicated efforts of our students here in our community and elsewhere once again have earned national recognition,” said Lawrence President Jill Beck. “I commend the students on their efforts to impact the greater community in a positive manner during their time here, as well as our Pieper Professor of Servant Leadership and the other faculty and staff members who assist them in those efforts.”

Honorees for the 2010 President’s Community Service Honor Roll were chosen on a series of factors, including scope and innovativeness 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.

In the past year, more than 600 Lawrence students contributed more than 12,000 service hours to service-learning and volunteer programs. Among the initiatives for which Lawrence was recognized was the establishment of a partnership with the Pragati Foundation in Bangalore, India, for summer teaching opportunities with underprivileged middle school students; the Confidence and Determination in Youth (CADY) student organization which provides younger students an inspirational, college-like experience in learning; and the Lawrence Assistance Reaching Youth (LARY) Buddies, a mentoring program for at-risk elementary students.

“Our students are contributing literally thousands of hours of volunteer service on behalf of others in both our own Fox Valley community as well on the global stage, all within the confines of a rigorous academic program,” said Alan Parks, Lawrence’s Pieper Family Professor of Servant Leadership and director of the college’s Office for Engaged Learning. “We’re seeing annual increases in service hours by our students which makes it all the more gratifying that those efforts are being recognized nationally through the President’s Community Service Honor Roll.”

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency, 3.16 million students performed more than 300 million hours of service in 2009. The Corporation’s Learn and Serve America program supports service-learning in schools, institutions of higher education and community-based organizations.

The President’s Community Service Honor Roll is compiled by the Corporation for National and Community Service in collaboration with the Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact, and the American Council on Education.