BLACKSBURG, Va., April 3, 2012 – The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) honored Virginia Tech in the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll as one of the nation's leading colleges in service. The honor roll is the highest federal honor a university or college can receive for dedication to service-learning and civic engagement.
The 2012 Honor Roll recognizes service completed during the 2010-11 academic year and identifies higher education institutions that reflect the values of outstanding community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in communities through service and service-learning. In determining which universities to include in the list, CNCS reviews the scope and innovation of service projects, the university’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships, measurable community outcomes, and the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the university curriculum.
Virginia Tech has been on the honor roll since 2006, when it was created. During the 2010-11 academic year, over 20,000 Virginia Tech students participated in community service projects that totaled 210,554 hours. These numbers reflect projects throughout the campus and different organizations, including the Corps of Cadets, Greek organizations, athletics, service-learning classes, student government association, and the community literacy corps federal work-study program.
The application for recognition highlighted several projects that reached international and local communities and demonstrates the university commitment to Ut Prosim (That I May Serve). The highlighted projects included the Bridges to Prosperity Footbridge in Ti Peligre, Haiti; the Coalition for Refugee Resettlement; and Kids Tech University a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) program for children 9 to 12 years old.
Gary Kirk, director of the Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships, commented, “These projects exemplify the breadth and depth of service work at Virginia Tech. We believe community engagement is an essential component of higher education, and we are pleased that we have been recognized for our commitment to well-designed and implemented programs.”
The honor roll is one way that that CNCS demonstrates the critical impact higher education institutions can make in their communities and the important role students play.
“We applaud the honor roll schools, their faculty and students for their commitment to make service a priority in and out of the classroom," said Robert Velasco, acting CEO of CNCS. "Together, service and learning increase civic engagement while fostering social innovation among students, empowering them to solve challenges within their communities.”
CNCS, which has administered the honor roll since 2006, admitted a total of 642 schools to colleges and universities for their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth. For a full list of recipients, visit the CNCS site.
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 225 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $496 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.
The Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships has announced that Avila Kilmurray will serve as the keynote Ut Prosim speaker on Wednesday, April 18 in the Old Dominion Ballroom in Squires Student Center at 6:30 p.m.
Kilmurray has a distinguished international career in areas related to social justice work. She was coordinator of the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action’s Rural Action Project, a European Union Second Anti-Poverty Programme initiative.
She was also active in establishing the NI Women's Coalition. She currently sits on the board of the Global Fund for Community Foundations, which supports community building throughout the developing world. The Community Foundation of Northern Ireland is an independent charitable grant-making organization, whose mission is to "drive social change."
The event is free and open to the public.