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Southwestern Recognized for Community Service

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    More than 1,000 Southwestern students participated in some form of community service in 2011-2012. Here, Chris Nolan works with children at the Boys and Girls Club of Georgetown in February 2012.

University is named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for 2013

Southwestern University is one of only 113 schools in the country that were named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for 2013.

The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement. The honor roll program was launched in 2006 and is sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.

Southwestern has been named to the Honor Roll every year since the program was started, but this is the first year it made the list of schools on the “Honor Roll with Distinction.” Only three other institutions in Texas made the Honor Roll with Distinction for 2013: Dallas Baptist University, Texas Lutheran University and the University of Houston.

Alyson Banda, coordinator of civic engagement at Southwestern, said schools are named to the Honor Roll based on the percent of students who participate in community service, the number of hours they contribute, and institutional support for civic engagement activities. For the 2011-2012 academic year, the Office of Civic Engagement estimates that 1,042 Southwestern students were involved in some sort of community service or service-learning program and contributed 47,744 hours of service.

To move to the next level of recognition – the Honor Roll with Distinction – the Corporation for National and Community Service looks at descriptions of each school’s three most prominent community service programs. For the 2011-2012 academic year, Southwestern described its Operation Achievement program, its community garden program, and The Big Event, a new community service event that was started in 2012.

In 2011-2012, Southwestern students tutored 72 local middle school students through the Operation Achievement program and worked with an additional 20 children through the community garden. The community garden also contributed 721 pounds of food to local nonprofits that address food needs of low-income families and seniors.

“Based on Southwestern’s history of being named to the Honor Roll, we were confident that we would receive that honor this year as well,” Banda said. “Our goal was to take it to the next level by receiving Distinction. We were very excited to learn that we made it.”