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Avila University Earns National Community Service Recognition for Fifth Consecutive Year

One of 690 institutions of higher education to receive this honor

March 11, 2013

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Washington, D.C. – Avila University was named to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This designation, administered by The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the U.S. Department of Education, is the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

Avila University was admitted for the fifth consecutive year to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for its work in serving the dear neighbor without distinction, one of the key missions of the university and a pillar of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, who sponsor the university.

“Avila has a long history of service-learning and believes strongly in preparing our graduates to be active leaders and participants in an ever-changing world,” said S. Marie Joan Harris, Ph.D., CSJ, Avila’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. “We’re honored to receive this prestigious award and owe much of it to the faculty and students themselves. They’re the energy driving our commitment, and they’re the ones who make it all happen.”

The Corporation for National and Community Service, which has administered the Honor Roll since 2006, admitted a total of 690 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth. With more than 4,500 institutions of higher education in the U.S., that puts Avila among an elite 15 percent of universities and colleges receiving this honor.

“Congratulations to Avila University, its faculty and students for its commitment to service, both in and out of the classroom,” said Wendy Spencer, chief executive officer of CNCS. “Through its work, institutions of higher education are helping improve their local communities and create a new generation of leaders by challenging students to go beyond the traditional college experience and solve local challenges.”

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. Avila’s Campus Ministry annually is the largest and most active group on campus. And, in 2012, Avila began sponsorship of Jerusalem Farm, a Catholic service retreat in urban Kansas City, Mo.

Inspired by the thousands of college students who traveled across the country to support relief efforts along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, CNCS has administered the award since 2006 and manages the program 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.

More information about Avila University’s community service efforts can be found at www.avila.edu. More information on eligibility and the full list of Honor Roll awardees can be found at www.NationalService.gov.


About Avila University
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.

The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll honors the nation’s leading higher education institutions and their students, faculty and staff for their commitment to bettering their communities through service. These are institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities.

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 other programs and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve.