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WIU Named to Presidential Honor Roll with Distinction for Community Service

March 21, 2012


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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL – For the fourth consecutive year, Western Illinois University has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for its exemplary service efforts. But this year, Western has moved up in the rankings and is one of just 112 schools nationwide recognized with the Honor Roll with Distinction.

Western is one of two Illinois public universities, one of four total in Illinois, honored for its strong institutional commitment to service, developing campus-community partnerships that produce measurable impact and engaging students in meaningful service. In previous years, Western has secured a spot on the Honor Roll.

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, launched in 2006, annually recognizes approximately 600 institutions of higher education across the U.S. for exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs. The President's Honor Roll increases the public's awareness of the contributions that colleges and their students make to local communities and the nation as a whole.

Within the past year, Western's Volunteer Services and many other campus-based organizations and departments sponsored numerous activities, including playing Big Pink Volleyball, a breast cancer research fundraiser; hosting the Alternate Spring Break, working in Alabama for Habitat for Humanity; sponsoring the Salvation Army angel tree program, which provided gifts to area underprivileged children; tutoring and mentoring area elementary school children; participating in Western's annual We Care campus clean-up; and more. Groups like student-athletes raised nearly $11,200 for numerous causes/projects and logged more than 2,500 volunteer hours, and WIU's Greek Life community raised almost $10,000 and put in nearly 3,000 hours of time.

"Service learning is an integral part of our students' experience at Western. Volunteerism not only provides our students with educational opportunity, but through their volunteer efforts, they provide a service to the community in which they live," said WIU President Jack Thomas. "Social responsibility and personal growth are two of our core values that shape our students' future. I am so pleased that Western has been recognized for the fourth consecutive year, and I am even more pleased that this year we have been recognized with distinction. This truly demonstrates our commitment to service learning and social responsibility."

In addition to special events and programming, members of Western's All Volunteer Effort (WAVE), coordinated through Volunteer Services, participated each week in such activities as organizing artifacts at the Western Illinois Museum; cleaning and mulching trails at WIU's Horn Field Campus; restoring the Moses King Brickyard National Landmark in Colchester; and visiting nursing homes, to mention a few.

According to Michelle Harvey, assistant director of student activities for leadership and service programs, although the President's Honor Roll application requires an institution to have at least seven percent of Federal Work Study funds spent on community service, in FY'11, the University matched that figure and more with 28 percent.

"Being recognized by the CNCS is such an honor, but with distinction is possible only because of everyone at Western: our students, faculty and staff made the honor with distinction a reality," Harvey said. "We have so much good happening on this campus and beyond. I know it's our culture."

The Honor Roll is a program of the CNCS, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation.

For more information on Volunteer Services at WIU, call the Office of Student Activities at (309) 298-3232 or visit student.services.wiu.edu/osa/volunteer. See the complete honor roll listing at learnandserve.gov/about/programs/higher_ed_honorroll.asp.

Posted By: WIU News (U-Relations@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations