More than 16,650 hours devoted to community volunteer and service-learning programs by 989 students last year helped Lawrence University earn a spot on the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the seventh consecutive year.
Lawrence is one of only two Wisconsin institutions to be cited every year by the Washington, D.C.-based Corporation for National and Community Service since it launched the honor roll program in 2006 in response to the thousands of college students from around the country who traveled to the Gulf Coast to help with relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina.
The program salutes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities on issues ranging from supporting at-risk youth to neighborhood revitalization.
Honorees are chosen on the basis of several factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service.
The 2013 Honor Roll recipients were announced at the American Council on Education’s 95th Annual Meeting March 4 in Washington, D.C. Lawrence was among 695 colleges and universities honored for their community impact.
“It is very gratifying that the efforts and dedication of our students are once again nationally recognized,” said Lawrence President Jill Beck. “Service is a celebrated component of Lawrence culture and our new students experience this commitment their first week on campus when they go on a service outing during freshman orientation. As an institution, we treat altruism and civic responsibility as traits to be nurtured. We encourage service participation through coordination and support, while maximizing the options for independent, student-driven service projects and experiences.”
Among the initiatives for which Lawrence was cited:
• Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Under the umbrella theme of “learn, serve and celebrate,” Lawrence students and local alumni volunteers contributed more than 500 hours of service Jan.16, 2012 as part of the nationwide Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. A total of 630 local K-12 students participated in a special curriculum created by Lawrence senior Marika Straw, which focused on diversity, fairness and social justice. Lawrence students also volunteered time to repaint facilities at Heckrodt Wetland Reserve in Menasha and helped winterize homes with the Housing Partnership of the Fox Cities.
• Relay for Life. Sixteen student teams of 185 participants fundraised on campus, among families, in the community, and online, generating more than $15,000 in support of cancer research and to support local programs that aid cancer patients, survivors and caregivers, including Look Good/Feel Better, Road to Recovery, Hope Lodges and Man to Man.
• After-School Enrichment for Young Children in the Fox Cities. Partnering with the Boys and Girls Club, the Building for Kids museum and two Appleton elementary schools, this longitudinal project provides after-school programming for area youth. Throughout the school year, 55 Lawrence students provided nearly 2,000 hours of enrichment, skills assessments and data analysis with Professor of Psychology Beth Haines. The research has been presented to several professional psychology organizations and at the statewide Poverty Matters! Conference.
“I am very pleased and proud that Lawrence has been recognized yet again as an institution that strives to excel in community engagement and service,” said Monica Rico, Lawrence’s Pieper Family Professor of Servant Leadership and director of the college’s Office for Engaged Learning. “Every year we look for ways to build stronger partnerships that will meet the needs of our students and our community partners.”
According to the Volunteering and Civic Life in America Report, 3.1 million college students dedicated more than 118 million hours of service across the country in 2012, a contribution valued at $2.5 billion.
The CNCS compiles the President’s Community Service Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.
About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.