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May 19, 2011

CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU volunteerism, community-service efforts earn CNCS salute        


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – The Washington, D.C.-based Corporation for National and Community Service has named Slippery Rock University to its 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, which salutes the nation’s institutions of higher education that support volunteerism, service-learning and civic engagement.

            The CNCS is a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and its Learn and Serve America programs. CNCS leads President Barack Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve.

            “We are certainly proud to receive this important honor. Slippery Rock University has long been engaged in community-service and service-learning work and the number of volunteer hours generated annually by our students is tremendous,” said Laurel Dagnon, program director of SRU’s Community Service/AmeriCorps Program offered through the SRU Center for Student Involvement and Leadership.

            “Last year we presented 102 projects that involved 885 volunteers in contributing more than 4,700 volunteer hours. These projects helped those in need and helped improve our community and other nearby areas in western Pennsylvania. These projects were in addition to our traditional CareBreaks that have taken literally hundreds of our students to communities across America, and even internationally, to offer community service and volunteer help that aids those in need,” she said.

“Our students are truly pleased to have their hard work, dedication and planning efforts recognized by the CNCS,” Dagnon said. In addition to the actual volunteer work, Dagnon said students gain invaluable experience and organizational skills in devising plans and recruiting fellow volunteers for the various projects. “These are skills they will carry into their jobs and the communities in which they live after graduation.”

            “Slippery Rock University has long prided itself for its efforts in the community-service and service-learning areas. This national recognition is a just reward. Our students have worked very hard as volunteers to make life better for others. It is a proud legacy and a great tradition for the University, and one that new SRU students will join and carry forth in the coming year,” said Constance Foley, vice president for student life. “We certainly thank all of the faculty and staff who join and support our students in such projects.”

The Corporation for National and Community Service, which has administered the Honor Roll since 2006, selected a total of 641 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth. Of that total, 511 were named to the Honor Roll, 114 received the recognition of Honor Roll with distinction, 11 were identified as finalists, and six received the Presidential Award.

"As members of the class of 2011 cross the stage to pick up their diplomas, more and more will be going into the world with a commitment to public service and the knowledge that they can make a difference in their communities and their own lives through service to others, thanks to the leadership of these institutions," said Patrick Corvington, CNCS chief executive officer.

            “We salute all the Honor Roll awardees for embracing their civic mission and providing opportunities for their students to tackle tough national challenges through service,” Corvington said.

SRU’s strategic plan, “Reaching for 2025 and Beyond,” calls for all graduates to be culturally aware, socially engaged citizens who understand the problems of the global society and have confidence in their skills and values to address those problems throughout their lives.

A total of 851 institutions applied for the 2010 Honor Roll, a 9 percent increase over last year, a sign of the growing interest by colleges and universities in highlighting their efforts to engage students in making a difference in the community, CNCS reported.

On campuses across the country, millions of college students are engaged in innovative projects to meet local needs, often using the skills learned in classrooms. In 2009, 3.2 million college students dedicated more than 307 million hours of service to communities across the country, service valued at more than $6.4 billion.

Last year, CNCS provided more than $215 million in support to institutions of higher education, including grants to operate service programs and the Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards for college tuition and student loan repayment. CNCS is a catalyst for service-learning programs nationwide that connect community service with academic curricula. Through these programs, in classes, and in extracurricular activities, college students serve their communities while strengthening their academic and civic skills.

CNCS oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact, and the American Council on Education. Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships, and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service.

A full list of recipients and descriptions of their service is available at:


Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania’s premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.


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