Northwestern receives President's Honor Roll award for service

Northwestern College has been named to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction in recognition of it strong commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

Northwestern, honored for the fifth year in a row, is among 114 schools named to the Distinction list. Only two others are from Iowa.

The Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the annual Honor Roll award, recognized a total of 641 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to environmental justice. Honorees were chosen from 851 applicants based on a series of factors including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships, and measurable community outcomes.

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

Last year, 662 Northwestern students were engaged in community service, including delivering groceries to families for the Orange City Food Pantry; building homes for the local Habitat for Humanity chapter; organizing the Red Letter Festival to raise money for The Bridge, a transitional housing facility; and coaching youth football and soccer teams. Over spring break, students taught English to Somalian immigrants, assisted with health clinics, repaired homes and performed other tasks at 14 locations around the world. In addition, another 470 students were involved in academic service-learning, putting classroom knowledge into practice by helping area agencies and businesses.

“So many of our students have a vibrant faith in Christ, which propels them to seek out ways to serve others.Combine that with both Northwestern’s commitment to provide avenues for them to put their faith in action and the ministries and organizations that so graciously partner with us, and the result is over 30,000 hours of service,” says Haverdink. 

“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). “We salute all the Honor Roll awardees for embracing their civic mission and providing opportunities for their students to tackle tough national challenges through service.”

In 2009–10, 3.2 million college students contributed more than 307 million hours of service to communities around the country, according to the CNCS. Last year, the corporation provided more than $215 million in support to institutions of higher education, including grants to operate service programs and education awards given to AmeriCorps members.

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