For the second year in a row, Hobart and William Smith Colleges have been named to the 2007 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, an honor bestowed on only 127 institutions across the nation. The commendation recognizes all of the civic engagement work by the Colleges’ community on and off the campus during the 2006-07 year. HWS are one of only six private, liberal arts institutions and one of only 12 colleges and universities in New York to be so honored.
“College students are tackling the toughest problems in America, demonstrating their compassion, commitment and creativity by serving as mentors, tutors, health workers, and even engineers,” said Liz Seale, Chief Operating Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service, who announced the awards at the recent annual meeting of the American Council on Education.
“The award recognizes the institutional priority that Hobart and William Smith Colleges place on community service and our ongoing effort to work with Geneva to make this a better place to work and study,” said President Mark D. Gearan, who initiated the Geneva Partnership this fall to advance these efforts.
Through the Geneva Partnership, the Colleges seek to continue to bring the community into the classroom and the classroom into the community so that students can deeply understand the complex issues that impact education, government, poverty and the environment, while also making a positive impact on the community. They do this through programs such as the annual Celebrate Service, Celebrate Geneva day of community service; through a new program – HWS Compass – that allows students to explore the many facets of service through experiences in Community Service, Civic Engagement, and Civic Leadership; and through national projects such as assisting areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
In congratulating Hobart and William Smith and the other distinguished institutions, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings said America relies on institutions of higher education to prepare students for citizenship and the workforce. “We look to institutions like these to provide leadership in partnering with local schools to shape the civic, democratic and economic future of our country,” Spellings said.
Launched in 2006 by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Honor Roll recognizes colleges and universities that support innovative, effective, and exemplary community service programs. Honorees are selected based on a series of 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 service-learning courses.
The Honor Roll is jointly sponsored by the Corporation, through its Learn and Serve America program, and the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, USA Freedom Corps, Campus Compact, and the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency dedicated to improving lives, strengthening communities, and fostering civic engagement through service and volunteering. Each year, the Corporation engages four million Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America programs. President Gearan, the former Director of the Peace Corps, serves as a member of the board of the Corporation and served as past chair of the National Campus Compact.