SFA receives national recognition for community service, named to President's Honor Roll
March 1, 2010 -
Stephen F. Austin State University has been named to the 2009 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 Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the annual Honor Roll award, recognized more than 700 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from poverty and homelessness to environmental justice. On campuses across the country, thousands of students joined their faculty to develop innovative programs and projects to meet local needs using the skills gained in their classrooms.
This is SFA's third straight year to be included in the Honor Roll. SFA students, faculty and staff completed 87,000 hours of community service last year, exceeding the university's goal of 85,000 hours in honor of its 85th anniversary. The SFA community took part in service events such as The BIG Event and staffing the Hurricane Ike shelter and taking part in cleanup efforts.
In addition, individual students as well as student organizations take part in service activities off campus, usually in partnership with one of the many non-profit agencies in Nacogdoches.
"At SFA, service to the community is not only an action we value but I believe it is part of our student culture," said Michael Preston, director of Student Affairs.
"Without any other motivation but a desire to help others, SFA students demonstrate what it means to be a Lumberjack. This honor is not only a reward for hard work but it is a manifestation of a service culture we have forged here at SFA."
College students make a significant contribution to the volunteer sector; in 2009, 3.16 million students performed more than 300 million hours of service, according to the Volunteering in America study released by the Corporation. Each year, the Corporation invests more than $150 million in fostering a culture of service on college campuses through grants awarded by its programs; the education awards that AmeriCorps members receive at the conclusion of their term of service to pay for college; and through support of training, research, recognition, and other initiatives to spur college service.
"This is a great honor for our campus community," said Jamie Bouldin, assistant director for Student Life and coordinator of the SFA Volunteer Program.
"Our students are so dedicated to giving back and getting involved in service activities. They really make it a priority to make a difference in the Nacogdoches community. This year, our students are continuing to volunteer in record numbers, and we expect our service hour total to be even higher than last year's."