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Avila University Receives National Recognition for Community Service

May 26, 2011
For more information, contact Bob Luder at 816.501.2434.

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NEWS RELEASE

KANSAS CITY, Mo - - Washington, D.C. – As colleges across the country honor their graduates this commencement season, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) honored Avila University as a leader among institutions of higher education for its support of volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement. Avila was admitted for the third consecutive year to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for engaging its students, faculty and staff in meaningful service that achieves measurable results in the community. 

The Corporation for National and Community Service, which has administered the Honor Roll since 2006, admitted 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 A. Corvington, Chief Executive Officer of CNCS.  “Congratulations to Avila University and its students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities.  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.”

Serving the dear neighbor always has been integral to Avila’s stated mission. Upon arrival at the school as new students, the entire class, along with student mentors, faculty and staff, are loaded onto buses and taken to an area food bank. In 2010, 178 students and 13 faculty/staff members performed 1,133 hours of service at Harvesters food bank and served an estimated 40,000 people. Another major project involved literacy tutoring, and 82 students/faculty/staff worked 1,248 hours teaching small groups or individuals literacy strategies. Students and faculty in Avila’s School of Nursing engaged in several projects, including health screenings and fairs.

Overall, students, faculty and staff at Avila performed about 40,000 hours of community service for the year.
“We are pleased and proud to be a recipient of the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll,” said Marie Joan Harris, CSJ, Avila’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. “We take our commitment to serving the dear neighbor very seriously at Avila University, and it’s a great tribute to the dedication to service of our students, faculty and staff that we accept this honor.”
A total of 851 institutions applied for the 2010 Honor Roll, a nine 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.

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.
The Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, is a strong partner with the nation’s colleges and universities in supporting community service and service-learning.  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 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. For a full list of recipients and descriptions of their service, visit www.NationalService.gov/HonorRoll.



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Avila University is a private, co-educational, values-based liberal arts institution founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, offering undergraduate, graduate, and adult degree programs. Avila University is located at 119th and Wornall Rd in southwest suburban Kansas City, Mo.