Catawba College has been honored by the Corporation for National and Community Service with a place on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to America's communities. The award was announced on Feb. 9th at the 91st annual meeting of the American Council on Education.
"Catawba's volunteer efforts truly are a campus-wide effort," explained Dr. Kenneth W. Clapp, Catawba College's chaplain and senior vice president. "We have classes that emphasize volunteerism and the professors get involved with the students. The coaches and athletic teams are involved and many of the clubs and organizations make volunteering a part of their agenda. This results in thousands of hours of volunteer time spread among projects as diverse as helping build Habitat homes to providing meals for needy families at Thanksgiving to helping with Special Olympics programs.
"Our goal is to get Catawba students thinking of volunteerism as a part of their lives so that after graduation they will continue giving to the communities in which they live," Clapp concluded.
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.
According to Volunteer Catawba records, 122 faculty, staff and students volunteered between the start of school in August 2008 and November 5, logging 670 total hours. Community service projects for which Volunteer Catawba recently helped recruit volunteers include Habitat for Humanity building projects, meal preparation at Rowan Helping Ministries, and the annual Harvest Moon Ball at the Lutheran Home at Trinity Oaks in Salisbury. Volunteer Catawba is housed under the umbrella of Catawba's Lilly Center for Vocation and Values. The Center's mission is to help participants, especially students, explore, discover and use their gifts in ways that serve others. The Lilly Center was established in 2003 with a $2 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. It is under the direction of Dr. Clapp.
"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 Catawba 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.
PHOTOS: Volunteer Catawba Receives Awards