- April 26, 2012
- 3:00 pm
Loyola honored for service
In 2010, Loyola was among the top six universities honored with the Presidential Award for Community Service, and has continued the tradition of excellence this year by being one of fourteen universities named a finalist for the Presidential Award in 2011.
Though some may see this as a downgrade from the top prize, Director for the Center of Experiential Learning Patrick Green, is thrilled with the ranking.
“That blew my expectations,” he says. ”This award recognizes that Loyola is truly serving the community and we do that in a number of ways.”
Green, who put together the application for the award along with Megan Barry, director for the Center for Community Service and Action, pointed out that no university has won the Presidential Award two years in a row, and none of the other universities that won the top award last year were also finalists this year, except for Loyola. He says this honor speaks volumes about Loyola’s continued growth and commitment to community service.
“It is really one of the top honors and a statement about Loyola’s commitment to service learning and community service,” he says. “It is also a statement on how faculty, staff, and students engage in service in many ways throughout the University.”
“Service is embedded in the University and woven in the fabric of the University,” he adds.
Since the award began in 2006, Loyola has been honored every year it submitted an application–four years overall, and two years either as an awardee or finalist. Green says this tradition of success is a challenge to do better and continue to find more ways to improve service opportunities within the University, as well as in the Chicago community.
“This is a great challenge to the University to listen to the needs of the community around us, and to address the community’s priorities and serve those needs as defined by the community. That is when we can truly address the social justice mission of the University,” he points out.
He also mentioned that he would like to see more publicity and recognition of the extensive service work student organizations do, that often goes unnoticed by the larger Loyola population. He points out that this could be used to continue to build on existing projects and create growth in different service organizations.
“Students do an amazing job of community service, but people are not aware of the great work that they are doing,” he says. “How it is being recorded? If we can’t document the impact that is being done in the community, that is information and knowledge that is lost.”
Ultimately, Green says he is proud of Loyola’s continued excellence within community service and service-learning in higher education.
“They want to spread the award to a variety of institutions, so I think the fact that we got finalist is a statement of how Loyola University Chicago continues to be a model of institutionalizing service and service learning,” he says.
To find out more about the award, visit the award website here.