Mary Baldwin’s Civic Engagement Recognized on National Honor Roll

February 12, 2009

Mary Baldwin University’s commitment to service and civic engagement was recognized this week with its third consecutive spot on the annual President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The honor roll was launched in 2006 by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that encourages civic engagement through service and volunteering.

Students sign up for volunteer opportunities at a community service fair in the Spencer CenterJust this month, several events at Mary Baldwin highlight the college’s ongoing — and growing — efforts to connect with the community. Mary Baldwin recently hosted the first public meeting for Staunton Green 2020, a local group dedicated to energy conservation and the creation of green jobs, and kicked off a three-month social entrepreneurism series that will focus on student involvement in sustainable businesses and careers.

Volunteering is a “regular” habit (volunteering 12 or more weeks a year with a primary organization) for 43 percent of college students, according to research by the Corporation for National Community Service. Mary Baldwin students are no exception. The college recently adopted a new minor in civic engagement, slated to be offered in fall 2009, and several students are already engaged in one of the main components of the minor, called the Semester of Service.

The President’s Honor Roll distinguishes Mary Baldwin University as a leader in community service and service-learning. In 2006, 2.8 million college students gave more than 297 million hours of volunteer service, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Volunteering in America 2007 study. Using Independent Sector’s estimates of the value of volunteer time, college student volunteering was worth more than $5.6 billion last year.

The honor roll is sponsored by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation and the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development in partnership with Campus Compact and the American Council on Education. Mary Baldwin is one of 635 colleges and universities nationwide — including 12 in Virginia — selected for the honor roll; the full list is available at www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll.