University lauded for community service

Grambling State University was recently named to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction. This award represents the highest level of recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement. Approximately 700 colleges and universities are recognized each year for their impact on service-learning, volunteerism, and civic engagement. Six schools received the Presidential Award, the highest level of distinction. The next level of distinction is Honor Roll with Distinction. Only two universities in the state of Louisiana received this award. They are Grambling State University and Tulane University.
Dr. Rory L. Bedford, who serves as the director of the service-learning program at GSU, said that Grambling State University performed well in the areas of service-learning, civic engagement and volunteerism chiefly because of its dynamic faculty, outstanding student body, and continued support from the administration.

“We have been fortunate to have the support of Title III funds and have received a number of Learn and Serve grants through the University of Louisiana System,” Dr. Bedford said. “Title III and Learn and Serve America has really boosted our productivity. The institution has provided us with the opportunity to explore and be creative.

“Our students are impacting the community through service while learning more about their respective disciplines,” he said.

In a press release from the Corporation for National and Community Service, the corporation indicates that college students make a significant contribution to the volunteer sector. In 2009, 3.16 million students performed more than 300 million hours of service. Each year, the Corporation invests more than $150 million in grants awarded by its programs; the education awards that AmeriCorps members receive at the conclusion of their term of service to pay for college; and through support of training, research, recognition, and other initiatives to spur college service.

The Corporation’s Learn and Serve America program is a catalyst for service-learning programs nationwide that connect community service with academic curriculum. Through these programs, in class and in extracurricular activities, college students serve others in their communities while strengthening their academic and civic skills.

Dr. Frank G. Pogue, interim president congratulated the GSU family for the role each individual played in achieving the award.