Students clean up Cookson Park as part of Holy Cross Cares Day last year.
The College of the Holy Cross has been named to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for its strong institutional commitment to service and partnerships that produce measurable results for the community. The Honor Roll recognition is from the highest levels of the federal government and recognizes commitment to service and civic engagement on campus and in the nation.
Social justice and community service are long-standing traditions at Holy Cross. Last year, more than 2,277 students (out of a total population of 2,900) dedicated 100,214 hours to working with community organizations. Student work in the community ranges from one-time initiatives supporting a fundraising or community event to long-term projects designed to bring major change to streets, schools, and parks.
“As a Jesuit Institution, service is essential to our identity and how we educate our students both in and out of the classroom,” says Edward Augustus, director of government and community relations. “Students’ connection with the community through service learning, volunteerism and community work study enhances their personal and intellectual growth. At the same time, it results in long-lasting community partnerships for the College.”
Holy Cross students come together into the community through a variety of programs including Student Programs for Urban Development (SPUD), the College’s 30 year-old community service student organization with more than 700 active student members and 46 program sites, and the Donelan Office of Community-Based Learning, which allows students to extend their learning beyond the classroom and into the community through work with nonprofit, community, and public organizations. Other opportunities for students to volunteer in the community include programs offered through the athletics department, and local internships with Worcester businesses and agencies.
The Corporation for National and Community Service has administered the Honor Roll since 2006. Other local schools named to the Honor Roll include: Anna Maria College, Assumption College, Clark University, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Worcester State University.
Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships, and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service.
Launched in 2006, the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes universities and colleges across the nation that encourage and support creative and effective community service and service-learning programs. The Corporation for National and Community Service oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact, and the American Council on Education.