Students mobilize to fill sand bags around Salem during a flood watch in January.
A Willamette student helps promote literacy at Bush Elementary School through the university's Tiger Club.
Students help clean up Englewood Park in Salem during the 2011 Opening Days.
Willamette earns national recognition for its commitment to community service
Willamette University has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for exemplary service to America’s communities.
The Corporation for National and Community Service launched the honor roll in 2006 as the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for commitment to service learning. Honorees were chosen on the scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of students participating in service activities, incentives for service and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.
“Our students, staff and faculty have a deep dedication to service in our community,” says Amy Green, Willamette’s Community Outreach Program interim director. “This award shows we embody our university motto, ‘Not unto ourselves alone are we born,’ and it reminds us to appreciate all our volunteers do to help others.”
Willamette students, faculty and staff volunteer about 67,000 hours annually. Their activities include traveling across the country for service-learning projects through the Take a Break spring and winter break program; mentoring children at nearby Bush Elementary School through the Tiger Club; tutoring Native American teenagers at Chemawa Indian School; and getting to know Salem through service during the Opening Days and New Student Orientation to Community Outreach programs.
To Eduardo Ochoa, the U.S. Department of Education’s assistant secretary for postsecondary education, the award is a tribute to all the lasting work students do to enrich their communities.
“The Honor Roll schools should be proud of their work to elevate the role of service learning on their campuses,” he says. “I hope we’ll see more and more colleges and universities follow their lead.”
The corporation honored five schools with Presidential Awards and 110 — including Willamette — were named as Honor Roll With Distinction members. In total, more than 640 schools were recognized for their work on issues ranging from literacy to neighborhood development. A full list is available at www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll.
Willamette has been named on every honor roll list released since the program’s inception. In 2009, it was one of only six colleges and universities nationwide to receive the Presidential Award for its commitment to helping disadvantaged youths.
For more information about service at Willamette, go to the Office of Community Service Learning.