University receives top service honor

Caroline Hroncich

The University was honored by the Corporation for National & Community Service and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, recognizing its continued commitment to community service and engagement.

“I extend my thanks to the Office of Planning and Institutional Research which coordinated these submissions, and my congratulations to the entire Villanova community for these distinguished recognitions,” said University President Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A. “They are a wonderful reflection of just how intricately community service and civic engagement are woven into the fabric of who we are as a University.”

The Corporation for National & Community Service recognized the University on their 2014 Presidents Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, for General Community Service, in December. This is the third time the University has been given this distinction. 

The organization judges applicants based on the strength of the community-campus partnerships. The General Community Service category focuses specifically on “service that addresses education, health, economic opportunity, the environment, disaster preparedness or other human needs including support for veterans and military families.”

Tom Hillebrecht, the 2015 St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service chair, said that he believes that this type of community outreach is crucial to campus life. “The numerous campus organizations, and service break trips offered, give students a range of different opportunities to give back to the community,” Hillebrecht said. “It is an honor that Villanova has been recognized for this commitment to service.” 

The Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching recognized the University with its 2015 Community Engagement Classification on Jan. 7, amongst 240 other colleges and universities for their partnerships with the local and national community. This distinction was first awarded to the University in 2008, and the institution was among 157 universities to have its classification renewed in 2015. 

Members of the Villanova community participate in nearly 250,000 hours of community service annually. Students, faculty and staff participate in a variety of service activities, both locally and internationally. One of the most recent community outreach opportunities at the University was Martin Luther King Day of Service, which brought nearly 430 volunteers to service sites throughout the Philadelphia area. MLK Day of Service is only one of the many opportunities that students are given to serve on campus. This continued commitment to service is something the University strives to attain on a daily basis. 

“Villanova is more than just a college, and more than just a bunch of students,” Jonathan Caggiano, the Head Chair for MLK Day of Service, said. “It’s a community, and communities don’t let other individuals fall behind. Villanova’s commitment to service empowers its students to come to this realization and make a difference. As Villanovans, I believe that it’s our job to make a difference in the world, not just one day, but every day.”