NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) today announced its annual honor roll – 770 U.S. colleges and universities, including Bethel College, where students, faculty and staff have demonstrated their commitment to bettering their communities through volunteering, civic engagement and service learning.
Bethel was one of six Kansas schools and one of four Kansas private colleges named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
Bethel made the honor roll based on values and actions. Among Bethel’s seven core values are “service, that prizes compassion and concern for the powerless …; community, that prizes social connectivity and shared endeavor with others; [and] peace and social justice, that prizes commitment to a peaceful and just society.”
These become concrete in annual service events that include, among others, all-campus efforts such as a beginning-of-the-school-year service project, the fall Service Day and the Angel Tree each December to benefit residents of the Harvey County Domestic Violence Task Force’s safe house; the spring break service trip; and the individual, group and team service projects that occur throughout the school year.
The Community Service Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities.
The honor roll was initially inspired by the thousands of college students who traveled from all corners of the country to support relief efforts along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Bethel College has applied to the honor roll every year except one since it was initiated in 2006 and has qualified every time it applied.
“Service and higher education go hand in hand,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS. “These schools are inspiring young leaders to roll up their sleeves and work alongside community members to solve problems.
“By recognizing the institutions who are leading the way to achieve meaningful, measurable results for the communities they serve, we also highlight the vital role all colleges and universities play in addressing community challenges and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement.”
College students make a significant contribution to their communities through volunteering and service, according to the most recent Volunteering and Civic Life in America report. In 2012, 3.1 million college students dedicated more than 118 million hours of service across the country – a contribution valued at $2.5 billion.
CNCS manages the Community Service Honor Roll in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as the American Council on Education, Campus Compact and the Interfaith Youth Corps.
For more on honor roll eligibility, and for the full list of 2014 awardees, see nationalservice.gov/HonorRoll.
CNCS is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit nationalservice.gov.
Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2014-15 Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2014-15. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.