During the 2009-10 academic year, Gannon University students, faculty and staff logged 79,421 service hours.
The number of service hours was a 2.5 percent increase from the prior year. Students did more than 70,000 hours, while faculty and staff contributed more than 9,300 hours.
This service is not going unnoticed, either. Washington Monthly recently issued its “2010 College Rankings” and based on involvement with community service, Gannon was listed 16th among 500 master’s universities nationally.
For the fourth consecutive year, Gannon has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The honor is the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service learning and civic engagement.
Recently, a couple of service organizations like Alpha Phi Omega, a national service fraternity, have been university recognized.
Nick Keller, president of the fraternity, said it makes him happy when helping out the community.
“The act of giving up your time and energy to help someone else without asking for compensation is a good feeling,” the junior mechanical engineering major said. “I would say that my motivation is the thank yous and seeing prosperity as an outcome.”
Keller said that community service opportunities differ.
“I have cleaned up trash at several places, helped out at an animal shelter, tidied up at a local business, even given blood,” he said.
The hours contributed were broken down in a few different categories: community service, service learning and federal work-study.
For community service, more than 23,500 hours were logged.
Student athletes and the Greek organizations helped by contributing more than twice the service hours they completed for the prior year.
Participants volunteered in events such as the Golden Harvest Food Drive and GIVE Day (Gannon University’s Invitation to Volunteer Everywhere). Also, the tutoring and mentoring programs available at the university counted toward those hours.
In addition to community service, service learning took up more than 32,000 hours of the university’s hours.
Service-learning includes community service that was incorporated into students’ courses as part of the curriculum.
Lastly, there is the federal work study, which accounted for about 15,700 hours of Gannon’s total hours.
Sophomore Andrea Miller said she enjoys doing community service.
“I do it because I love interacting with people and helping people out who really need help,” the pharmacy major said.
In the past year, Miller has volunteered heavily in a lot of events to help out the community.
“I volunteered at the admissions office last year, GIVE Day, Day of Caring, Golden Harvest and I volunteered at MedCentral Health Systems (my local hospital) this summer,” she said. “I volunteered at the hospital because they really needed the help and because I wanted to get experience in the pharmacy before I went to pharmacy school next year.”
The university has also raised quite a bit of money.
Through events like the 30-Hour Fast and Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, the university raised about $130,000 in funds for individuals, agencies, and organizations locally, regionally and nationally.