Oct. 18, 2016
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Illinois Wesleyan University has again been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This marks the seventh consecutive year on the Honor Roll and its eighth in the nine years of the designation.
Illinois Wesleyan students volunteered 82,000 community service hours during the 12-month period covered by the Honor Roll.
Illinois Wesleyan embraces a strong institutional commitment to service going back many generations, according to President Eric Jensen. “The university’s mission statement includes a charge to prepare students for democratic citizenship and life in a global society, and a commitment to diversity, social justice and environmental sustainability,” he said. “We live those ideals, as an institution and as individuals.”
In one example of institutional commitment to service, the Action Research Center (ARC) has been a leader in making local nonprofits stronger and more effective for more than a decade by providing research, data analysis, and training technical support for local organizations, with students engaging in this work in various roles. As one example, ARC places students on nonprofit boards including the YWCA and the West Bloomington Revitalization Project.
Other Illinois Wesleyan initiatives include the student-created nonprofit Tool Library, which provides homeowners in low-income areas with access to tools; curricular opportunities for service learning, including Hispanic Studies students working with local ESL elementary students; and a student-led initiative to create a multifaith meditation room.
The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes institutions of higher education that support exemplary community service programs and raise the visibility of effective practices in campus community partnerships. Institutions nationwide were honored for their work in one of four categories – general community service, interfaith community service, economic opportunity and education. Illinois Wesleyan was honored for the university’s efforts in general community service.
CNCS, the nation’s largest grant-maker in support of volunteering and service, has administered the award since 2006 in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as the American Council on Education, Campus Compact, and the Interfaith Youth Core.