BU makes Honor Roll for community service

Empty Bowls banquet For immediate release: June 20, 2011

BLOOMSBURG — Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania has been honored once again for community service and volunteering efforts.

The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for 2010 recently included BU for achievements during 2009.

The award requires colleges and universities to demonstrate the quantity and impact of the service work its students complete.

For Bloomsburg University, the task of gathering and presenting the information fell to the SOLVE (Students Organized to Learn through Volunteerism and Employment) Office.

Jean Downing, director, and Tim Pelton, civic engagement coordinator, outlined the range of service performed by students and focused on three large-scale community service projects that showcased students' best efforts in helping the community:

  • Empty Bowls Banquet, an annual hunger awareness fundraiser that serves gourmet soups donated from local restaurants and benefits the Bloomsburg Food Cupboard. This year, a record-setting $5,000 was raised through the efforts of more than 100 students.
  • Food Recovery program, in which student volunteers package unsold food from the dining facilities on campus to address the growing hunger needs of Columbia County. Last year, 200 students participated and collected 3 tons of food donated to the Women's Center, Food Cupboard and, most recently, AGAPE.
  • Mandela Day service, which introduced 190 Act 101/EOP students to the institution's emphasis on service. The summer 2009 service day benefited four local agencies: The YMCA, The Children's Museum, American Red Cross and AGAPE.

Last year, BU students performed 62,000 hours of volunteer service valued at $1.2 million, benefiting the local community.

"We are gratified to be recognized by President Obama for our students' community service efforts," said Pelton.

Launched on a small scale in 2006, the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll program annually recognizes institutions of higher education on their commitment to and achievements in their communities.

The honorees are chosen based on a number of factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation, incentives for service and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

The Corporation for National and Community Service oversees the honor roll in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education. BU was twice recognized previously.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 9,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.