Gardner-Webb Named to the President’s Community Service Honor Roll for 9th Consecutive Year

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GWU Recognized for Leadership in Community Engagement Projects & Service Learning Efforts

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – For the ninth consecutive year, Gardner-Webb University has been named to the 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.

Launched in 2006, the Honor Roll recognizes those institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities. Gardner-Webb has continued as an Honor Roll mainstay because of students’ commitment to a wide variety of service initiatives. Dr. Tom LeGrand, director of the GWU IMPACT Center for Christian Ethics and Social Responsibility, said the recognition is an affirmation of the University’s overall mission.

“As President Frank Bonner has stated on many occasions, we are educating great students to also be great people. We want students to serve with effectiveness and impact while they are here. But more than that, we want them to make that same impact with their life.” LeGrand shared. “Students have power. When they raise their voices and decide that they want to influence the lives of others—that is when things start moving. This is just one demonstration of our students working together with faculty and staff to make the world a better place, both locally and globally.”

In the past year alone, 2,499 Gardner-Webb students engaged in academic service-learning initiatives and/or community service opportunities outside of class. Through various projects, students logged a total of 71,402 hours of intentional community service. Micah Martin, director of GWU Student Leadership Development and Community Engagement, believes the recognition confirms the identity of both Gardner-Webb and its students.

“This award is an important reminder of who we have been, who we are, and who we will continue to be,” Martin asserted. “We’ve had a long history of service that our current students value because of the service that most of them have been involved in growing up. Each week, we’re giving them the opportunity to move beyond ‘one and done’ service projects, and encourage them to continue offering their talents and strengths to meet specific legitimate needs right here in our own backyard. When this happens, everybody wins, and these students develop a deeper sense of meaning and purpose.”

Written into the University’s curriculum through the Service Learning Program, community service is a top academic priority at Gardner-Webb. 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.

“College is the place we develop lifelong habits and beliefs,” Martin reflected. “Because of our institutional mission, it’s extremely important for us to teach students to live as Christ did just as we teach them skills to develop professionally. Our reputation is based on the students that we launch into life beyond college. People followed Jesus because he loved them and served them. He gave them hope and comfort. If our students live this way, I can’t think of a better thing to be known for.”

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. For a complete list of recipients, click here.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University’s purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian higher education by preparing graduates for professional and personal success, instilling in them a deep commitment to service and leadership, and equipping them for well-rounded lives of lasting impact, Pro Deo et Humanitate (For God and Humanity).