Westminster College Only Missouri School Named To President’s Community Service Honor Roll With Distinction
Westminster College in Fulton, MO is the only Missouri college or university to be named to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll With Distinction by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).
This is the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, civic engagement and community service.
Only 113 American colleges and universities received this level of recognition.
Participating in community service projects and learning to make a difference in the world are a major emphasis in the Westminster student experience of preparing to be a global leader. Last year the Westminster community amassed over 13,000 hours of community service.
Members of the awards committee were particularly impressed with Westminster’s poverty and hunger initiatives, international service and service days and trips.
“We congratulate the awardees and the students for their dedication to service,” says Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS. “These institutions have inspired students and faculty alike to roll up their sleeves and work alongside members of the community to solve problems and improve neighbors’ lives.”
Westminster has been cited on the honor roll every year since the recognition was established in 2006.
The formal announcement was made March 4 at the American Council on Education Annual Conference in Washington, DC.
“Our mission here is to prepare our students to be the kind of leaders that make a difference wherever they find themselves and so commitment to community service is a major emphasis in our educational process,” says Hannah Minchow-Proffitt, Westminster Fellow for Community Engagement & Service-Learning at the Emerson Center for Leadership & Service on the Westminster campus. “It is very gratifying to see their contributions to society recognized like this.”
Honorees for the Honor Roll are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is imbedded in the curriculum, the school’s commitment to long-term, campus-community partnerships, and measurable community outcomes as a result of service.
“This is a great achievement for the College to reach this highest level of the President’s Community Service Honor Roll recognition along with a number of other prestigious institutions from across the country,” says Dr. Bob Hansen, Executive Director of the Emerson Center for Leadership & Service. “This is an exciting time to be at Westminster in respect to our growing and thriving community.
College students make a significant contribution to their communities through volunteering and service, according to the most recent Volunteering and Civic Life in America report. In 2012, 3.1 million college students dedicated more than 118 million hours of service across the country—a contribution valued at $2.5 billion.
“Communities are strengthened when all come together, and we are encouraged that these institutions and their students have made service a priority,” says U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Civic engagement should be a key component of every student’s education experience. Through reaching out to meet the needs of their neighbors, these students are deepening their impact, strengthening our democracy and ultimately preparing themselves to be successful citizens.”
CNCS is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America programs and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve.
The agency oversees the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.
The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll annually highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement by recognizing institutions that achieve meaningful outcomes in the communities they serve.
More information on eligibility and the full list of Honor Roll awardees can be found at http://www.nationalservice.gov/about/initiatives/honorroll.asp.