February 25, 2010 — The University of Virginia has been named to the fourth annual 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 Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the annual Honor Roll award, recognized more than 700 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from poverty and homelessness to environmental justice.
"Congratulations to the University of Virginia 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. They have achieved impactful results and demonstrated the value of putting knowledge into practice to help renew America through service."
The Honor Roll includes six colleges and universities that are recognized as presidential awardees, with an additional 115 named to the "with distinction" list and 621 schools named as honor roll members. Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors including the scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.
U.Va. has been on the Honor Roll for all four years.
The 2009 Honor Roll Presidential Awardees for general service are: Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn., Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill. The three awardees with special focus are: Emory & Henry College in Emory, Va., Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg, N.J., and Willamette University in Salem, Ore.
College students make a significant contribution to the volunteer sector; in 2009, 3.16 million students performed more than 300 million hours of service, according to the Volunteering in America study released by the Corporation. Each year, the Corporation invests more than $150 million in fostering a culture of service on college campuses through grants awarded by its programs; the education awards that AmeriCorps members receive at the conclusion of their term of service to pay for college; and through support of training, research, recognition and other initiatives to spur college service.
The Corporation oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.
President Obama has made service a central cause of his administration, and through his United We Serve initiative he is calling on all Americans to make service part of their daily lives. The President places a high priority on supporting and developing the role of higher institutions, and their students, staff and faculty, in addressing the nation's most pressing social needs.