Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

Feb. 17, 2009

Whitworth Recognized Among Top Schools in the U.S. for its Commitment to Community Service

Whitworth University has been placed on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

The Community Service Honor Roll, which was launched in 2006, is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Honorees for the award were chosen based on factors such as 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.

Whitworth was selected for inclusion on the Community Service Honor Roll based on initiatives such as its annual Community Building Day project, its Engaging the Community, Inspiring Philanthropy program, its Bonner Leaders program, its Central America Service and Study program, and its West Central Neighborhood Partnership. Whitworth also places a special focus on high school completion and college readiness support services for disadvantaged youth. Some of the programs and services that are part of that focus include Mentors and Students Together, the Street Kids program, and the Whitworth Literacy Center.

"Whitworth's commitment to empowering students to connect their skills and passions with the broader community can be traced back to the university's mission statement, which is to equip its graduates to honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity," says Jacob Spaun, assistant director of service-learning in the university's center for service-learning and community engagement. "Whitworth's placement on this honor roll helps confirm that we are succeeding in carrying out that mission."

Stephen Goldsmith, vice chair of the board of directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees the Honor Roll, says "We salute Whitworth University for making community service a campus priority, and we thank the millions of college students who are helping to renew America through service to others." Goldsmith adds "In this time of economic distress, we need volunteers more than ever. College students represent an enormous pool of idealism and energy to help tackle some of our toughest challenges."

Overall, the corporation honored six schools with Presidential Awards. In addition, 83 were named as Honor Roll with Distinction members and 546 schools as Honor Roll members.  In total, 635 schools were recognized. A full list is available at www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll.

The Honor Roll is a program of the corporation, in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is presented during the annual conference of the American Council on Education. 

Recent studies have underlined the importance of service-learning and volunteering for college students. In 2006, 2.8 million college students gave more than 297 million hours of volunteer service, according to the corporation’s Volunteering in America 2007 study. Expanding campus incentives for service is part of a larger initiative to spur higher levels of volunteering by America’s college students. The corporation is working with a coalition of federal agencies, higher education and student associations, and nonprofit organizations to achieve this goal.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. The corporation administers Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America, a program that supports service-learning in schools, institutions of higher education and community-based organizations. For more information, please visit www.nationalservice.gov.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,600 students, offers 53 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Contacts:

Jacob Spaun, assistant director of service-learning, Center for Service-Learning and Community Engagement, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4673 or jspaun@whitworth.edu.

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or eproffitt@whitworth.edu.

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