Federal government again honors George Fox University for community service
For a second straight year, George Fox University earned recognition for its commitment to community and civic engagement from the federal government, which named the Newberg, Ore., school to the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll this month.
Service at George Fox
All told, more than 2,400 George Fox students engaged in nearly 250,000 hours of community service during the 2012-13 school year. Among its service initiatives is an annual Serve Day, when classes are canceled to allow students, employees and alumni to canvas the Portland, Ore., area to assist nonprofits, public agencies, churches, retirement homes and individual citizens. Last year, more than 2,000 volunteers visited a record 102 sites for the 16th annual event on Wednesday, Sept. 3.
In addition, George Fox students annually participate in an MLK Day of Service in January; travel throughout the U.S. and abroad on spring, summer and winter serve trips; organize regular visits to assist the homeless in Portland and Salem, Ore.; and conduct on-campus fundraisers, including the “Mr. Bruin” male “beauty” pageant, that raise money for charitable causes.
The Honor Roll
The Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities. The designation is the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement, according to the nationalservice.gov website.
The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, launched in 2006, annually highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement by recognizing institutions that achieve meaningful, measureable outcomes in the communities they serve.The honor, administered by the Corporation for National & Community Service, was awarded to George Fox for the school’s long-standing commitment to service. In fact, service is an integral part of the institution’s mission: “To prepare students spiritually, academically and professionally to think with clarity, act with integrity and serve with passion.”
An Ethos of Service
George Fox’s ethos of service is also reflected in the school’s commitment to educating the youth of the region through home-school science courses, summer science camps, local school visits by George Fox professors, and a science equipment loan program. The university’s community engagement includes partnering with the local school district to allow school and club teams to use George Fox facilities – including the Austin Sports Complex one mile north of campus.
In the classroom, service-learning elements include a servant-engineering program in the school’s ABET-accredited engineering program, a community-consulting program in George Fox’s MBA program, student-teaching experiences through its School of Education, and practicum classes in the nursing program.“Our commitment to living out our Christ-centered mission as we serve others is deeply rooted in our Christian faith and ethos and is an important component of the George Fox experience for students, faculty and staff,” said Brad Lau, vice president for student life at George Fox. “Our hope and prayer is that George Fox graduates will take this commitment to service into their work as educators, nurses, business professionals, engineers, artists, or wherever their lives take them.”