For the second year in a row, St. Mary’s College of Maryland was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This is the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its efforts in volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement.
“Our students travel off campus to volunteer throughout the community,” said Joseph Urgo, college president. “They see a need, create a solution, and then integrate it into the campus culture—fostering the spirit of volunteerism across campus. We are very proud of their initiative and continued interest in helping the community around us.”
In fact, this past academic year, more than 25%, or 480 students, regularly participated in a volunteer program. Efforts included Christmas in April 2010, where students raised $15,000, then picked up hammers to build a house in St. Mary’s County; Stuff the Van, a food drive for the needy; athletic teams were part of a reading program at Carver Elementary School in Lexington Park; and there were weekly campus grounds clean-ups.
Since 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll has recognized institutions of higher education that support exemplary community service programs and raise the visibility of best practices in campus-community partnerships. It is overseen by the Corporation for National and Community Service in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, among others.
Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded into the curriculum, and the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships.