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Avila University Receives National Recognition for Community Service


March 28, 2012

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The President's Honor RollWashington, D.C. – The Corporation for National and Community Service and the U.S. Department of Education has honored the nation’s leading colleges and universities, students and faculty members and staff for their commitment to bettering their communities through community service and service learning.

Avila University was admitted for the fourth consecutive year to the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for its work in serving the dear neighbor, one of the key missions of the university and a pillar of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, who sponsor the university.

The Corporation for National and Community Service, which has administered the Honor Roll since 2006, admitted a total of 642 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth. Of that total, 513 were named to the Honor Roll, 110 received the recognition of Honor Roll with distinction, 14 were identified as finalists, and five received the Presidential Award.

“Through service, these institutions are creating the next generation of leaders by challenging students to tackle tough issues and create positive impacts in the community,” said Robert Velasco, acting chief executive officer of CNCS. “We applaud Avila University and the other Honor Roll schools , their faculty and students for their commitment to make service a priority in and out of the classroom. Together, service and learning increase civic engagement while fostering social innovation among students, empowering them to solve challenges within their communities.”

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 2011, Avila University students performed more than 200,000 community service and service learning hours. This equates to more than a month of fulltime work for each of the university’s undergraduates.

“We are pleased and proud to be a recipient of the 2012 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.”

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.  According to the annual CNCS Volunteering in America report, 3.1 million college students dedicated more than 312 million hours of service to communities across the country, service valued at more than $6.6 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 $200 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.



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.