LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 2, 2010) - The same week that UK's largest service project, DanceBlue, takes center stage, the University of Kentucky has received national recognition for its commitment to community service. UK has been named to the 2009 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, 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 the awardees and students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities,” said Patrick Corvington, the corporation's CEO. “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. Last year, nearly 9,500 UK students participated in over 110,000 hours of service across the university.
“This honor is a celebration of our students, faculty and staff,” said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. “Their efforts to better lives in communities across the Commonwealth has created an institutional culture of commitment to service. Kudos to our entire university community for all you do to make this community and Kentucky a better place to live, work and raise a family.”
The award process was coordinated through the Center for Community Outreach (CCO) which serves as a primary resource and partner for service opportunities for UK students, faculty and staff. Founded in August 2002, the CCO is a student-driven program that is intended to foster the development of leaders who make a difference in their communities. Through a team of student volunteers and student staff, special services and programs are offered that will afford UK students the opportunity to use their talents and energy while helping others. The mission of the CCO is to serve, connect and unite the University of Kentucky with the surrounding community in collaborative efforts to promote life-long community service.
The Corporation for National and Community Service oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact, and the American Council on Education. Honorees are 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.
For more information about the UK Center for Community Outreach, visit www.ukcco.org.