Willamette receives national honor for its commitment to serving others

by University Communications,

Willamette University has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll 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.

“Given our ethic of service, I am very honored that Willamette University has again been recognized in this way,” says Eric Lassahn, director of Community Service Learning.

“Willamette University students, faculty and staff demonstrate a commitment to service and service-learning every day, and inclusion on the President's Honor Roll recognizes the importance of this core value. I am thrilled that we have been included and hope that this honor further encourages our involvement in serving the community.”

Willamette students, faculty and staff volunteer about 67,000 hours annually. Their activities include traveling across the nation 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.

Inspired by the thousands of college students who traveled across the country to support relief efforts along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community challenges.

The corporation honored four schools with Presidential Awards this year. In total, 766 schools were recognized for their work on issues ranging from literacy to neighborhood development. A full list is available at www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll.

In 2009, Willamette 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.