Augustana Named to Presidential Honor Roll for Community Service

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the U.S. Department of Education have listed Augustana among the nation’s leading colleges and universities that exhibit a commitment to bettering communities through volunteerism, service-learning, and civic engagement.

For the second consecutive year, Augustana has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for engaging its students, faculty and staff in meaningful service that achieves measurable results in the community.

“Through service, these institutions are creating the next generation of leaders by challenging students to tackle tough issues and create positive impacts in the community,” said Robert Velasco, acting CEO of CNCS. “We applaud the Honor Roll schools, their faculty and students for their commitment to make service a priority in and out of the classroom. Together, service and learning increase civic engagement while fostering social innovation among students, empowering them to solve challenges within their communities.”

The CNCS, which has administered the Honor Roll since 2006, admitted 642 higher education institutions for their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth. Of those, 513 were named to the Honor Roll.

At Augustana, in between classes and coursework, students, faculty and staff have worked to give back to their community and help people in need through efforts such as these:

  • This fall, more than 525 students participated in the 17th annual Augustana Community Service Day, completing more than 2,500  hours of service for 25 local organizations and collecting more than 1,500 pounds of food for local food banks. Among other support activities, volunteers spent time repairing and painting buildings, caring for animals and collecting trash and served nonprofits including the Boys & Girls Club of the Sioux Empire, St. Francis House and Children’s Inn, among others.
     
  • This fall, Augustana students hosted a series of bake sales and collected donations for New York City’s Trinity Lutheran Church, a soup kitchen on the lower eastside of Manhattan that serves some 1,000 meals to people in need each week. Dubbed “Bread for the Apple,” the effort was led by student members of Serving and Learning Together (SALT), a 30-member student-led group dedicated to service, along with students on the Viking Days Committee, Campus Ministry and Residence Life teams.
     
  • In March 2012, Augustana Dance Marathon, a student-led group, raised more than $14,000 for Children’s Miracle Network.
     
  • Students living in 16 different theme-based houses served the Sioux Falls community, dedicating their time to groups such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Lutheran Social Services, the Humane Society, Youth Enrichment Services, Children's Home Society, and others.
     
  • Through the “Christmas Giving” program, Augustana students, staff and alumni donated 1,150 gifts to Children's Inn, Children's Home, Heartland House, The Boys & Girls Club of the Sioux Empire and LSS Immigration Refugee Services during the 2011 holiday season.
     
  • In the fall, students worked with children, visited schools and served food to those in need on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
     
  • Student volunteers from the Augustana Women's Association collected and donated gently used prom dresses to the Cheyenne River Youth Project's "Passion for Fashion" event in Eagle Butte, S.D. The event provides prom essentials such as dresses, make-up and shoes for teenage girls in need.
     
  • This spring, the College unveiled "Augustana Acts" a pay-it-forward initiative to encourage acts of service around the globe. Learn more about the acts of service performed by Augustana students, faculty and alumni at www.augie.edu/acts.

On campuses across the country, millions of college students are engaged in innovative projects to meet local needs, often using the skills learned in classrooms. In 2010, 3.1 million college students dedicated more than 312 million hours of service to communities across the country, service valued at more than $6.6 billion. Business and law students offer tax preparation and legal services, and college student volunteers provide meals, create parks, rebuild homes after disasters, conduct job training, run senior service programs, and much more.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a strong partner with the nation’s colleges and universities in supporting community service and service-learning.  Last year, CNCS provided more than $200 million in support to institutions of higher education, including grants to operate service programs and the Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards for college tuition and student loan repayment.  CNCS is a catalyst for service-learning programs nationwide that connect community service with academic curricula. Through these programs, college students serve their communities while strengthening their academic and civic skills.