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  Avila University Receives Presidential Community Service Award  
                   
  Kansas City, MO    
March 2, 2010
 
 

Avila 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. Business students served as consultants to budget-strapped nonprofits and businesses, law students volunteered at legal clinics, and dozens of others organized anti-hunger campaigns.

“Congratulations to Avila University and its students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities,” said Patrick Corvington, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Our nation’s students are a critical part of the equation and vital to our efforts to tackle the most persistent challenges we face. They have achieved impactful results and demonstrated the value of putting knowledge into practice to help renew America through service.”

The Honor Roll includes six colleges and universities that are recognized as Presidential Awardees, with an additional 115 named to the Distinction List and 621 schools named as Honor Roll members. Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses. For a complete listing of the 2009 Honor Roll recipients, go to http://www.learnandserve.gov/about/programs/higher_ed_honorroll.asp

“We are pleased that Avila University has been named to the president’s honor roll for community service,” said Ron Slepitza, Ph.D., CSJA, president of Avila University. “This award is a testament to the dedication that Avila’s faculty, staff and students have to the community.”  
 
At Avila, more than 1,000 students logged over 36,800 community service hours through a variety of projects.  One of the key projects was the work surrounding Avila's exhibit "A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People." Our service also included work at Harvesters, Habitat for Humanity, service learning in several countries, service in a variety of schools and health care settings and service to the local Catholic community. I am proud of the service provided by Avila’s students with the support of our faculty and staff and their commitment to our mission as a university sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet through this emphasis on the love of the dear neighbor without distinction. It is nice to be recognized for what is deeply embedded in our institutional mission and culture.

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. The Corporation oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.

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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.


About The Corporation for National and Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs, and leads President Obama's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit www.nationalservice.gov.