NWC receives President's Honor Roll award for service

Northwestern College has been named to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

Northwestern, honored for the fourth consecutive year, is among 115 schools named to the Distinction list. Only five others are from Iowa.

The Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the annual Honor Roll award, recognized a total of more than 700 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from poverty and homelessness to environmental justice. Honorees were chosen based on a series of factors including the 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.

“Northwestern has always had a strong commitment to service,” says Marlon Haverdink, Northwestern’s director of service learning, “and being named to the Honor Roll is a wonderful recognition of that commitment. I’m continually encouraged by the willingness of our students to give of their time to serve.”

Last year, 729 Northwestern students were engaged in forms of community service, such as collecting groceries for the Orange City Food Pantry; cleaning at The Bridge, a transitional housing facility; and tutoring schoolchildren. Through Spring Service Projects, students rehabilitated homes, worked with youth and served in soup kitchens at 15 locations around the world. In addition, another 360 students were involved in academic service-learning, putting classroom knowledge into practice by helping area agencies and businesses.

“For many of our students, their vibrant faith in Christ propels them to seek out ways to serve others,” says Haverdink. “Combine that with Northwestern’s commitment to provide avenues for them to put their faith into action, and the result was more than 25,000 hours of community service during 2008–09.”

“Congratulations to Northwestern College and its students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities,” says Patrick Corvington, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). “Our nation’s students are 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.”

In 2009, college students performed more than 300 million hours of service, according to the Volunteering in America study released by CNCS. Each year, the corporation invests more than $150 million in fostering a culture of service on college campuses through grants; education awards that AmeriCorps members receive at the conclusion of their term of service; and support of training, research, recognition and other initiatives to spur college service.

The Corporation for National and Community Service oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education. More information is available at www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll.