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Doing Good, with Distinction

For eight consecutive years, Southwestern University has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, and for three consecutive years has been named to the Honor Roll with Distinction.

This distinction is the highest federal recognition that colleges and universities can receive for community service, community-engaged learning and civic engagement.  The announcement of the Honor Roll followed the University’s fall 2014 recognition for Interfaith Community Service.

Civic engagement is an important component of the Southwestern Liberal Arts experience,” says Director of Civic Engagement Sarah Brackmann, “and this national recognition further affirms Southwestern’s commitment to ‘fostering a liberal arts community whose values and actions encourage contributions to the well-being of humanity’.”

The most recent Honor Roll was based on 2012-13 academic year statistics. Southwestern’s Office of Civic Engagement estimates that in that year, 975 Southwestern students were involved in some sort of community service or community-engaged learning program, contributing a total of 39,863 hours of service. The Honor Roll also acknowledged Southwestern for its partnerships with the Boys and Girls Club, Mitchell Elementary School and General Chemistry students, as well as student work in the SU Community Garden.  

Each year, the President of the United States recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful, measurable outcomes in communities through civic engagement. The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll highlights institutions of higher education that raise the visibility of effective practices in campus community partnerships. 

“Service and higher education go hand in hand,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “These schools are inspiring young leaders to roll up their sleeves and work alongside community members to solve problems. By recognizing the institutions who are leading the way to achieve meaningful, measurable results for the communities they serve, we also highlight the vital role all colleges and universities play in addressing community challenges and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement.”