McKendree University is on National Honor Roll for Community Service

One of 642 Institutions Chosen Nationwide

national community service honor roll 2012 badgeLebanon, Ill. — McKendree University’s commitment to service outside the classroom has earned it a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for 2012. The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the U.S. Department of Education admitted 642 colleges and universities this year for their impact on issues from neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth.

Over 2,000 McKendree students contributed 22,233 hours of community service in 2010-2011. Service learning is an integral part of a McKendree education from the start, as incoming students can attest. During New Student Orientation the weekend before the fall classes begin, they are sent “Into the Streets” to paint, power wash, work on garden and landscaping projects, or package meals for a food outreach program.

McKendree’s Lyn Huxford Center for Community Service, established in 1994, is the hub for numerous volunteer activities on and off campus. Partnerships with the Christian Activity Center in East St. Louis, and a local equestrian center’s program for developmentally disabled children, are two examples. Some students and faculty members travel to Jamaica for an annual “alternative spring break” to build shelters, paint schools, volunteer in soup kitchens, and assist seniors and children.

“Through service, these institutions are creating the next generation of leaders by challenging students to tackle tough issues and create positive impacts in the community,” said Robert Velasco, acting CEO of CNCS. “We applaud the Honor Roll schools, their faculty and students for their commitment to make service a priority in and out of the classroom.”

“Providing students with opportunities to take on local and global issues in their course work are as central to the mission of education as boosting college completion and closing the achievement gap,” said Eduardo Ochoa, the U.S. Department of Education’s assistant secretary for postsecondary education. “The Honor Roll schools should be proud of their work to elevate the role of service-learning on their campuses. I hope we’ll see more and more colleges and universities following their lead.”

The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities. It was inspired by the thousands of college students who traveled across the country to support relief efforts along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina.

The CNCS oversees the initiative in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact, and the American Council on Education. Honorees are chosen based the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is part of the curriculum, the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships, and measurable outcomes.