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FSU Honored for Community Service for Fourth Consecutive Year
12/12/2014

FSU Honored for Community Service for Fourth Consecutive Year

For the fourth consecutive year, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has honored Frostburg State University as a leader among institutions of higher education for its support of volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement, admitting FSU to the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, this year under the category of General Community Service.

“I have never been so proud of our students’ energy and enthusiasm for community service,” said FSU President Jonathan Gibralter. “Their year-round commitment to helping others in the community in so many different ways is an inspiration to us all, and I applaud their selfless dedication and spirit.”

FSU students’ service covers a wide range of volunteer activities, including tutoring children, helping with tax returns, cleaning streets and shoveling snow, raising money for numerous charities, helping rebuild New Orleans, performing environmental projects and serving areas of need in the Western Maryland region.

Students’ commitment to volunteerism is the strongest example of how service is a key part of FSU’s culture. FSU students collectively average more than 30,000 hours of service each year through programs such as ECHOSTARS (Empowering Communities, Helping Others – Service Through Action, Resources and Sustainability), a first-year living-learning-serving experience for students committed to making a change in the community. Through this program, students become a part of a growing student service movement by providing volunteer service as reading tutors, youth mentors and more in the Frostburg area.

Other programs include the VOICE (Volunteer Opportunities in the Community Environment) Clearinghouse program, which connects students, faculty and staff with volunteer opportunities in Western Maryland. VOICE is supported by FSU’s A STAR! in Western Maryland AmeriCorps program, which is funded in part by the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism and CNCS. Relay for Life is one of FSU’s best-attended annual events, with 56 teams and 679 participants this spring, including students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members. FSU’s Relay raised $38,330.50 to support the American Cancer Society in 2014. Homecoming traditions include a philanthropic component as well; candidates for Homecoming King and Queen are elected through a competition involving raising funds for charities.

The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities. Inspired initially in 2006 by the thousands of college students who traveled across the country to support relief efforts along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, the initiative celebrates the transformative power and volunteer spirit that exists within the higher education community.

In addition to the last four years, FSU was also on the Honor Roll in 2008. In 2000, FSU was awarded the first-ever Higher Education Award for Leadership in National Service by CNCS.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a strong partner with the nation’s colleges and universities in supporting community service and service-learning. Last year, CNCS provided more than $200 million in support to institutions of higher education, including grants to operate service programs and the Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards for college tuition and student loan repayment.

CNCS oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education. Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service. For a full list of recipients, visit www.nationalservice.gov/special-initiatives/presidents-higher-education-community-service-honor-roll/2014-presidents-higher.

For more information, contact Patrick O’Brien in FSU’s Office of Volunteerism and National Service at 301-687-4210 or pobrien@frostburg.edu.

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit www.frostburg.edu or facebook.com/frostburgstateuniversity. Follow FSU on Twitter @frostburgstate.

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For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589
E-mail: news@frostburg.edu