Saint Mary’s on Honor Roll for Community Service

Saint Mary’s College on Presidential Honor Roll for Community Service

Gwen O’Brien
Director of Media Relations
Saint Mary’s College   
(574) 284-4579 (desk)

February 25, 2010 (Notre Dame, Ind.)– The Corporation for National and Community Service announced today that Saint Mary’s College 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. It’s the fourth year the organization has recognized the College and the work of the Office for Civic and Social Engagement (OCSE).

“This recognition affirms the spirit of service that is prevalent throughout the College. In the past five years community service opportunities have flourished here with the advent of additional and enhanced programming,” said Carrie Call, director of OCSE. “Receiving the news about the award always thrills me because it reminds me of how far we’ve come. Yet, I am also reminded of how much more needs to be done to help a hurting world.”

According to OCSE, 80% of Saint Mary’s College students participate in service by the time they graduate (the national average is 55%). Among the community programs OCSE operates is the College Academy of Tutoring (CAT). Through CAT, Saint Mary’s students work with local Title 1 schools in South Bend, offering services that include English, Reading, and mathematics tutoring; teacher assistance in the classrooms (including ENL skills building and Special Education); a Read-to-a-Child program; and the innovative Pen Pals program where fourth grade girls are paired with Saint Mary’s students for a semester to share letters. Also through OCSE, dozens of students, faculty and staff participate in Rebuilding Together in South Bend every spring, helping to spruce up and repair people’s homes.

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. The Community Service Honor Roll was launched in 2006. Honorees were chosen based on a series of selection factors including 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.

“Congratulations to Saint Mary's College 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.”

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 for National and Community Service 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. The Corporation is a federal agency that engages more 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, click here.

About Saint Mary’s College: Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., is a four-year, Catholic, women’s institution offering five bachelor’s degrees and more than 30 major areas of study. Saint Mary’s College has six nationally accredited academic programs: social work, art, music, teacher education, chemistry and nursing. Saint Mary's College ranks among the nation's top 100 liberal arts colleges in U.S. News & World Report's 2010 annual survey. Founded in 1844, Saint Mary’s is a pioneer in the education of women, and is sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Cross.