UNC cited for volunteer efforts

Posted February 26, 2010 12:24 p.m. EST
Updated February 26, 2010 12:33 p.m. EST

— The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was among six universities named Friday 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 service-learning and civic engagement.

The Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the annual award, recognized UNC and its students for their work to improve the lives of the disadvantaged. UNC students and faculty committed more than 1 million volunteer hours to address local issues and international concerns like hunger and health.

“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,” Patrick Corvington, chief executive of the Corporation for National and Community Service, said in a statement.

UNC students forged partnerships with more than 150 community organizations to recruit 1,500 volunteers to pack meals to be distributed in Kenya through the Carolina Hunger Education and Activism Project. They also assisted with HIV testing and health support outreach to the area’s growing Latino community, sponsored a dance marathon to benefit the North Carolina Children’s Hospital and organized a food waste demonstration on campus to promote awareness of food insecurity.

“Being named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is a great acknowledgment of how this university makes a difference for the people of North Carolina and the world,” Chancellor Holden Thorp said in a statement.

“President Obama has challenged all of us to place a renewed emphasis on service, and these students are answering the call,” 4th District Congressman David Price said in a statement. “The students who have participated in so many worthy efforts deserve to be praised, as do the administrators and faculty members who have fostered such a rich and rewarding service-learning environment.”