Saint Mary's College of California has been named to the 2013 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This is the seventh year in a row that the College has received national recognition by the Oval Office for its commitment to social justice, community service and civic engagement. The honor is among the highest distinctions a school can achieve for its commitment to community service.
Saint Mary's will be demonstrating its commitment to service on March 16 across the Bay Area when it sends hundreds of volunteers to 22 Bay Area schools for the Great Bay Area Service Day for Schools. The day of service is part of a series of public programs and outreach efforts by Saint Mary's during the academic year to mark the College's 150th anniversary.
Launched in 2006, the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll annually highlights the nation’s leading higher education institutions and their students, faculty and staff for their commitment to bettering their communities through service. Saint Mary's was acknowledged for the more than 47,000 hours of community service that students performed with community-based organizations across the Bay Area, and for their participation in international service-learning courses where they provided a variety of disaster relief services such as helping hurricane victims in Haiti build homes.
"This award underscores the College’s continuing mission of service for the common good, and is timely as we celebrate our 150th year of making a difference in the San Francisco Bay Area," said Brother President Ronald Gallagher. He added that the award reflects the College's focus on educating students to become global and ethical citizens. "We are proud of the many students, faculty and staff who work together with our community partners in the Bay Area and around the world," said Gallagher.
There were 690 colleges and universities across the nation that were recognized by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which administers the national program. Honorees were selected on a series of factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service and the dedication a school has demonstrated to civic engagement and academic service-learning courses.
Marshall Welch, the director of Saint Mary's Catholic Institute for Lasallian Social Justice (CILSA), which collaborates with faculty members on academic courses with community-based service-learning components, expressed pride over the honor and said the College's expanded curricular focus on civic engagement will bring future recognition as well. "We're very pleased to be included once again on the President's Honor Roll," said Welch. "Community engagement and service is an integral part of the Lasallian mission of the College. Implementing the community engagement component of the new core curriculum will only strengthen our efforts."
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, the Social Innovation Fund and Volunteer Generation Fund, and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. Through the agency’s Segal AmeriCorps Education Award Matching Program, CNCS gives educational institutions access to tens of thousands of AmeriCorps alumni with millions of dollars in Segal Education Awards for tuition and fees. For more information, visit http://www.NationalService.gov.
For more information about Saint Mary's Great Bay Area Service Day for Schools visit yearofthegael.com/dayofservice.
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