JACKSON, Tenn. – May 18, 2011– For the fifth straight year, Union University has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to America’s communities.
“It is one thing to be recognized once among this prestigious group of institutions, but to be recognized for five straight years speaks volumes about the quality of Union students, staff and faculty,” Union President David S. Dockery said. “Moreover, it says to the Jackson community and West Tennessee region that Union is deeply invested in the life and work of this area.
“We’re honored to receive this significant award for the fifth straight year.”
Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. This year, 511 institutions were named to the honor roll. Union is one of about 100 institutions in the nation that have been named to the honor roll every year since its inception.
The award is given by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Honorees for the award were chosen based on a series of selection factors including scope and innovation 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.
Union University serves the community in many ways throughout the year. Its largest event is the annual “Campus and Community: A Day of Remembrance and Service,” in which the university sends out dozens of teams across Jackson and West Tennessee for various service projects.
The event began in 2002 as an opportunity for Union to show its appreciation to the community for its assistance after a tornado hit the campus that year and caused about $2 million in damage. But it has taken on even greater significance following the 2008 tornado that caused more than $40 million in damage to the campus, when the Jackson and West Tennessee communities rallied to Union’s aid. More than 1,000 students, faculty and staff participated in the event in 2010.
Union also participates in local service projects every year on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, and the university sends out about 20 Global Opportunities teams annually. These GO teams participate in mission trips across the country and around the world.
The university serves in multiple other ways as well. Union is co-sponsoring the May 18 Alzheimer’s Caregiver Conference at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital, and on May 25 will host the quarterly breakfast for the Jackson Chamber of Commerce. Union students are involved in multiple tutorial programs in the city, and the university has partnerships with almost every non-profit organization in the Jackson area.