David McKinney/University Relations

Student Emma Agren volunteers at Midnight Farms, an equestrian program for individuals with special needs. Her service was part of one of many projects that helped land KU on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the fourth consecutive year.

KU named to Presidential Honor Roll for Service for fourth consecutive year

For the fourth consecutive year, KU has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

The 2009 honor roll recognizes institutions of higher learning based on the number of students who take part in service learning or community service, faculty involvement and total hours of service. The Corporation for National and Community Service administers the annual award.

“I am very proud that the University of Kansas has been selected for this outstanding honor once again,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “KU has a strong reputation for service, and I truly believe that students who take part in service not only make their communities stronger, they enhance their education in immeasurable ways.”

During the 2008-09 school year, more than 11,500 KU students took part in academic service learning or other forms of community service. Of those students, more than 5,000 contributed at least 20 hours of service per semester. In all, KU students took part in 971,758 hours of community service.

KU’s honor roll application highlighted several service programs, including the KU School of Medicine’s Jaydoc Free Clinic, in which medical students provide free services to the community; the School of Law’s Volunteer Tax Income Assistance program, which helps students and low-income taxpayers complete federal and state income tax returns; the KU Academy of Student Pharmacists’ efforts to provide free vaccinations for two-thirds of the population of Greensburg, Kansas in October 2008; the Planning to Achieve College Excellence student group’s March to College Day, a day to help educate local K-12 students about the opportunities of college; and the Adopt-a-School program, which places university greek members in local elementary and middle schools to assist teachers in their classrooms.

Amanda Schwegler, assistant director of the Center for Service Learning, filed KU’s application and said the honor roll is recognition of the importance of service, and has the potential to lead to more partnerships with the community.

“Being named to the honor roll shows that KU’s faculty and students are dedicated to helping address community needs by applying themselves both inside and outside the classroom,” Schwegler said. “I think the designation will not only draw attention to what has been undertaken at KU, but will also highlight the potential and opportunity for further undertakings with the community. Knowing KU’s capacity to collaborate could draw in faculty and students, encouraging them to initiate or join in on community-university collaborations.”

Campus closeup
Amanda Schwegler, assistant director, Center for Service Learning
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