Lehigh University
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Lehigh honored for its culture of service

Lehigh University’s Community Services Office was recently named to the 2007 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, a distinction awarded to colleges and universities around the country that have successfully nurtured a culture of service and civic engagement.

The Community Service Honor Roll—the highest federal recognition a school can achieve in the community service arena—recognized six schools with Presidential Awards and four with a Special Achievement Award.

Lehigh shares honor roll status with institutions such as Dartmouth, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Emerson, Wake Forest and Carnegie Mellon.

“We consider it a privilege to be on this list with so many great institutions,” says Carolina Hernandez, director of Lehigh’s Community Service Office. “It’s particularly gratifying to us since this is the first time we’ve applied. We were shocked and humbled to be recognized.”

Adds John Smeaton, vice provost for Student Affairs: “In recent years, the level of growth and enhancement of our Community Service Office has been phenomenal. It’s very rewarding to know that so many students contribute to the success of this office, and make the effort to make a difference on our campus and beyond. Their level of concern and commitment is a real tribute to our students.”

Lehigh Community Service Office was established in Fall 1996 to provide a coordinated program for engagement for students, faculty and staff. The office currently maintains a working relationship with more than 100 local agencies, and coordinates programs such as SERVE trips, spring break programs, the America Reads and Counts tutoring program for local schoolchildren and the first-year volunteer orientation program.

During the Fall 2007 semester alone, students who worked through the Community Service Office contributed 6,500 hours of service.

Launched in 2006, the President’s Community Service Honor selects recipients based on a series of selection factors including scope and innovativeness of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

The Honor Roll is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and is sponsored by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, the USA Freedom Corps and the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development.

--Linda Harbrecht

Posted on Monday, February 18, 2008

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