NWC receives president's honor roll award for service

The Corporation for National and Community Service has named Northwestern College to the 2008 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Northwestern, honored for the third consecutive year, is among 635 colleges and universities recognized. Only 14 are from Iowa.

“This recognition is a testament to both the mission of Northwestern College and to the kind of compassionate students who call Northwestern home,” says Marlon Haverdink, Northwestern’s director of service learning. “We have a long tradition of service and community engagement, and it’s an honor to see the students’ commitment to help others recognized in this way.”

Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Honorees for the award were chosen based on a series of selection factors, including scope and innovativeness 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.

Last year, more than 725 Northwestern students were engaged in forms of community service, such as cleaning at The Bridge, a transitional housing facility; tutoring schoolchildren; working at area soup kitchens and homeless shelters; and assisting in cleanup and rebuilding for tornado victims in Parkersburg, Iowa, and hurricane victims in the Gulf Coast. In addition, another 315 students were involved in academic service-learning, putting classroom knowledge into practice by helping area agencies and businesses. All told, Northwestern estimates its students engaged in more than 14,500 hours of service in 2007–08.

 “It is humbling to think about the many hours our students devote to service and volunteerism. It speaks to their compassionate hearts and desire to put the needs of others before their own,” says Haverdink. “Our students are motivated by their faith in Christ to reach out in love to their neighbors and communities. When they are presented with a need, they tend to rise to the occasion and use their creativity, passion and knowledge to address those needs.”

“In this time of economic distress, we need volunteers more than ever,” says Stephen Goldsmith, vice chair of the board of directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which oversees the Honor Roll. “College students represent an enormous pool of idealism and energy to help tackle some of our toughest challenges. We salute Northwestern College for making community service a campus priority, and thank the millions of college students who are helping to renew America through service to others.”

The Honor Roll is a program of CNCS in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation. More information is available at www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that seeks to improve lives, strengthen communities and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering. The organization administers Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America, a program that supports service-learning in schools, institutions of higher education and community-based organizations.