BC earns National Award for Service - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

BC earns National Award for Service

For the sixth year in a row, Bluefield College has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for its exemplary service efforts.

            Sponsored jointly by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the U.S. Department of Education, the Community Service Honor Roll recognizes colleges and universities nationwide that reflect the values of excellent community service and meaningful outcomes in their communities.

            "We congratulate the awardees and the students for their dedication to service," said Wendy Spencer, chief executive officer of the CNCS. "These institutions have inspired students and faculty alike to roll up their sleeves and work alongside members of the community to solve problems and improve their neighbors' lives."

            Honorees for the award are chosen based on their commitment to service learning and to bettering their communities through community service. Winners are also chosen based on the scope and innovativeness of their service projects, the percentage of students participating in service activities, incentives for service, the extent to which service learning is included in the academic curriculum, the school's commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships, and measurable community outcomes as a result of service.

            "This recognition is truly meaningful and belongs to the entire campus community for the countless hours given in service and missions last year," said BC president Dr. David Olive. "Service is part of our ethos; it defines and distinguishes who we are and is an outgrowth of our Christian commitment to serving others."

            Last academic year, BC students, faculty and staff participated in a variety of service and mission projects at home and abroad, including a Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service, where they volunteered dozens of hours of time and energy to support the ministries of the Bluefield Union Mission, the Bland Ministry Center and the Center for Women in Search of Empowerment.

            Members of the BC family also took part in the Boy Scouts of America's National Scout Jamboree Service Week, where they helped build and restore trails in the local trail system. Students also provided shoes to the needy through a Style Your Sole project and Hope Baskets to female victims of domestic violence, while student-athletes on the football team battled hunger with a Sack the Quarterback campaign designed to provide groceries to local food pantries.

In addition, the college hosted its first ever session of the New Opportunity School for Women, designed for disadvantaged, yet determined ladies who completed a month of intense professional and personal development to help prepare them for a new life and new opportunities. The school also hosted more than 600 volunteers from churches across the nation during three separate summer community outreach programs aimed at restoring homes and communities in surrounding counties.

Abroad, students took part in a week-long mission trip to South Africa and to increase awareness of the need for international missions, the college hosted an international missionary on campus the entire academic year, who taught classes, led discussions and provided lectures on the value of mission work.

"Communities are strengthened when we all come together, and we are encouraged that these institutions and their students have made service a priority," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan about the Community Service Honor Roll designees, including BC. "Civic engagement should be a key component of every student's education experience. Through reaching out to meet the needs of their neighbors, these students are deepening their impact, strengthening our democracy and ultimately preparing themselves to be successful citizens."

Launched in 2006, the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll annually highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement by recognizing institutions that achieve meaningful, measurable outcomes in the communities they serve. It is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service learning, volunteerism, and civic engagement.

A total of 690 higher education institutions were named to this year's Honor Roll. Combined, the Honor Roll awardees engaged 3.1 million students in community service for a total of 118 million service hours at a value of $2.5 billion to communities across the country.

The 2013 Honor Roll recipients were announced at the American Council on Education's 95th Annual Meeting in March 2012, in Washington, D.C. For a full list of recipients, visit www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll.

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