University recognized for community service
The University of South Carolina’s Columbia campus has been named to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service learning and civic engagement.
The honor marks the fourth consecutive year that the university has been recognized by the Corporation for National and Community Service for offering innovative programs and projects that meet community needs. Selection criteria include the scope and creativity of projects, student participation and service-learning course opportunities.
During the academic year 2008 – 09, more than 19,000 Carolina students, faculty and staff participated in volunteer service, donating more than 306,000 service hours to the community.
“I am inspired by the tremendous impact that USC has on our local, regional and national communities,” said Kim McMahon, director of Campus Life and the Russell House University Union. “The service hours donated and funds raised through student and university initiatives translate into an economic impact totaling more than $5.8 million dollars.”
The university’s service contributions included community projects, philanthropic fundraising, community-based research, service-learning classes and advocacy.
Students in sport and entertainment management developed charity events for area non-profits, and law students volunteered at legal clinics. Student athletes inspired youth at more than 25 public schools, and Cocky’s Reading Express brought its literacy message and books to elementary schools around the state. Office of Community Service Programs coordinated monthly Service Saturdays, service trips for spring break, the American Reads literacy initiative, Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and the Carolina Cares holiday donation drive.
“Congratulations to University of South Carolina and its students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities,” said Patrick Corvington, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Our nation’s students are a critical part of the equation and vital to our efforts to tackle the most persistent challenges we face.”
Carolina’s focus on service reflects a collegiate trend nationwide. The Corporation for National and Community Service reported that, in 2009, 3.16 million students performed more than 300 million hours of service.