Nov. 16, 2006 -- The University of Virginia has been named one of 10 national finalists for the President’s Higher Education Community Service Award for Excellence in General Community Service by the federal Corporation for National and Community Service. The award program, which is cosponsored by the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, USA Freedom Corps and the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, was created to recognize the contributions that college students make within their local communities.
In a statement that accompanied the Oct. 17 announcement of the colleges and universities included on the first-ever President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, David Eisner, chief executive officer of the CNCS said, “When colleges organize effective community service programs, they do so not only to meet the needs of the communities that surround them, but to improve the academic and civic lives of their students, faculty and staff.”
“Public service has been part of the University’s core mission from the beginning,” said Megan Raymond, U.Va.’s acting director of University outreach. “To be recognized nationally for this work is fantastic.”
In naming U.Va. a finalist, the awards program cited five initiatives that exemplify the commitment of the University’s students, faculty and staff to public service:
• Madison House, a student-run organization that coordinates the work of more than 3,300 student volunteers each week. This past year, volunteers contributed 110,000 hours of service as tutors, construction workers, peer counselors and day care and patient-service providers.
• The Day in the Life program, organized by the Office of Community Relations, which matches U.Va. students with local youth who attend academic, cultural, athletic and social events. During the past year, 539 U.Va. students provided 9,522 hours of tutoring and mentoring to 473 local youth.
• The Remote Area Medical clinic, a partnership serving the healthcare needs of residents of southwest Virginia, through which more than 130 student volunteers contributed 5,700 hours and served approximately 3,000 uninsured patients.
• ecoMOD, a joint project of the Architecture and Engineering schools through which students contributed 10,000 hours to design, build and evaluate eight modular homes that were transported to one of Charlottesville’s low-income neighborhoods.
• The University Internship Program, which last year contributed 55,000 hours of service to meet a variety of community needs.
“It’s important that everyone sees the difference that higher education institutions make in local communities,” Raymond said. “But it’s also important to recognize the role of the community, because we couldn’t do it without them. This award is a recognition of the relationships and partnerships within the community that have been formed over the years.”
More than 500 colleges and universities applied for inclusion on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The award winners were California State University, Monterey Bay; Elon University; and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Joining U.Va. on the list of award finalists were the University of Michigan, Tulane University, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Niagara University and five others.
About the Office of Public Service and Outreach
The University of Virginia serves over one million people every year through more than 400 public service and outreach programs. U.Va. is proud to be part of Virginia’s rich tradition of higher education and aims toward making a vibrant future for all Virginians. From world-class health care and stronger local governments to excellent schools and lifelong learning, UVa values its contribution to communities throughout the Commonwealth. The Office of Public Service and Outreach works to support, promote, and enhance the University of Virginia's commitment to public life.
About the Corporation for National and Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service is an independent federal agency created in 1993 to connect Americans of all ages and backgrounds with opportunities to give back to their communities and their nation. It merged the work and staffs of two predecessor agencies, ACTION and the Commission on National and Community Service.
For more information about the range of public service and outreach activities at the University of Virginia, visit the OutreachVirginia Web site.