Gardner-Webb Named to Fifth Straight President’s Community Service Honor Roll

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BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – For the fifth consecutive year, Gardner-Webb University has been selected for the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the U.S. Department of Education.

The Honor Roll recognizes those institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities.  Gardner-Webb has become an Honor Roll mainstay because of students’ commitment to a wide variety of service initiatives.

In the past year alone, 2,034 Gardner-Webb students have organized food drives, harvested potatoes and launched a community garden.  The have provided disaster relief and rebuilt dilapidated homes.  They have cleaned trash from roadsides and state rivers, dug irrigation trenches, tutored at-risk students and more.  In total, they logged 39,265 hours of intentional community service.

Best of all, said Community Engagement Coordinator Stephanie Richey, those statistics hold no allure for Gardner-Webb students. “The wonderful part about the President’s Honor Roll,” said Richey, “is that the activities and statistics we record on the application reflect what our students are already doing, regardless of the Honor Roll.  We’re thrilled for the honor, but our students don’t do service to get recognized—they get recognized because they do service.”

“We are greatly gratified by the news of this award,” said Gardner-Webb Provost Dr. Ben Leslie.  “Having now received the Honor Roll recognition for five consecutive years, it’s clear that service and community engagement are not something we dabble in at Gardner-Webb.  Rather, service is woven into the fabric of the school’s institutional identity.”

Community engagement is even written into the University’s curriculum through the Service Learning Program.  Classes often partner with local organizations and initiatives like the Red Cross, the Salvation Army or the Cleveland County Potato Project, enabling students to discover connections between their work in the classroom and in the community.

According to Susan Manahan, professor of biology and service learning director, 576 of the students counted were engaged in service learning initiatives.  “Both in and out of the classroom, our students are engaging in service that is often not glamorous, but that has a great impact in the lives of others in our immediate community and also in our global community,” Manahan said.

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.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University offers a comprehensive academic experience that introduces students to the diverse world of ideas and to the people who think them, preparing them for professional success and for productive citizenship.