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Georgian Court Receives Presidential Community Service Award

GCU Honored for Volunteer Efforts and Service Learning Initiatives

Lakewood, N.J., Mar. 15, 2010—Georgian Court University has been named to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service learning, and civic engagement.

The Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the annual Honor Roll award, recently recognized more than 700 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from poverty and homelessness to environmental justice. The national honor recognizes the efforts of students and schools that work to meet community needs using classroom skills and innovative programming.

“Congratulations to Georgian Court and its students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving communities,” said Patrick Corvington, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Our nation’s students are a critical part of the equation and vital to our efforts to tackle the most persistent challenges we face. They have achieved impactful results and demonstrated the value of putting knowledge into practice to help renew America through service.”

GCU’s dedication to improving the lives of others is a direct reflection of the Mercy core values—respect, integrity, justice, compassion, and service—that touch every aspect of students’ experience at Georgian Court. The university, established in 1908 by the Sisters of Mercy, incorporates service learning into the curriculum and gives students opportunities to explore scholarship, service, analysis, and reflection locally and abroad.

“Georgian Court students understand the importance of civic responsibility, and eagerly roll up their sleeves to get involved,” says Rosemary E. Jeffries, RSM, Ph.D., university president. “From their work with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office in examining services for at-risk youth to the countless hours they put in helping Gulf Coast families rebuild after Hurricane Katrina, they know what it means to translate the GCU mission into action.”

In addition to completing a First-Year Seminar course that includes a service component, GCU students fulfill other experiential learning requirements through classes, internships, study abroad, and additional service learning opportunities.

In recent years, GCU students have served internationally in Guyana and Honduras, and in needy communities like Biloxi, Mississippi; Frenchville, Pennsylvania; and Indian Island, Maine. This month, a team of Georgian Court students is spending spring break in Camden, New Jersey, working to assist in community redevelopment.

Schools named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll are chosen based on a series of selection factors including the 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.

Nationwide, college students make a significant contribution to the volunteer sector. In 2009, 3.16 million students performed more than 300 million hours of service, according to the Volunteering in America study released by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

The Honor Roll this year includes 6 colleges and universities that are recognized as Presidential Awardees, 115 named to the Distinction List, and 621 named as Honor Roll members. The corporation oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact, and the American Council on Education.

About the Corporation for National and Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs, and leads President Obama's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit 

About Georgian Court University
Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court serves over 3,000 students of all faiths and backgrounds in a residential Women's College and a coeducational University College with undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at One Woodbridge Center in Woodbridge, at Coastal Communiversity in Wall, and at Cumberland County College in Vineland.

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