Vanderbilt University named to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

Vanderbilt 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, recognized more than 700 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from poverty and homelessness to environmental justice.

“At Vanderbilt, our students are committed to using what they learn both inside and outside of the classroom to transform the world around them. This honor goes to each person on this campus that identified a challenge, organized a group of committed individuals and worked to be part of the solution,” said Provost Richard McCarty. “We believe that service is how we will meet the challenges of our time, and we are proud that our students exhibited the leadership needed to make an impact on the future direction of our nation.”

Vanderbilt students started Alternative Spring Break programs to encourage students to volunteer instead of vacation. ASB has now spread to hundreds of universities. Students also support the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in many ways, including an annual all-night dance-a-thon to raise money for the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Students at Vanderbilt are active with local students volunteering through Vanderbilt Student for Students to encourage high school children to go to college and through Vanderbuddies providing weekly tutoring services to at-risk students. Vanderbilt Students Volunteering for Science present science lessons at area middle schools, and students at the Blair School of Music teach free private music lessons at the W.O. Smith Nashville Community Music School.

The Vanderbilt Office of Active Citizenship and Service helps students interested in volunteering on the national and/or global level. Opportunities include summer programs in Ecuador and Tanzania, an internship experience in Washington, D.C., and a special Maymester leadership course in D.C. More recently, the OACS has taken the lead on the campus’ response to the earthquake in Haiti.

For a complete listing of Vanderbilt University student service activities and organizations, visit the Dean of Students Office website at or visit the Office of Active Citizenship and Service at

The Honor Roll includes six colleges and universities that are recognized as Presidential Awardees, with an additional 115 named to the Distinction List and 621 schools named as Honor Roll members. Honorees 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. Visit for a full list of Honor Roll recipients.

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

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. Each year, the Corporation invests more than $150 million in fostering a culture of service on college campuses through grants awarded by its programs; the education awards that AmeriCorps members receive at the conclusion of their term of service to pay for college; and through support of training, research, recognition, and other initiatives to spur college service.

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. The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more five 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

Media Contact: Missy Pankake, (615) 322-NEWS