(February 18, 2009)

Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073

College Named To Presidential Honor Roll For Community Service

honor roll

SHREVEPORT, La. — The Corporation for National and Community Service recently honored Centenary College with a place on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to America's communities.

This is the third year in a row that Centenary has won the award. Overall, the Corporation honored six schools with Presidential Awards. In addition, 83 were named as Honor Roll With Distinction members and 546 schools as Honor Roll members, including Centenary College.

"Since this award first began in 2006, Centenary has been recognized as an institution where service to our local community isn't just something we say, but it's something we consistently do," said Chris Lavan, Director of Service Learning. "I am proud both as the Director of Service Learning and as a Centenary alumnus to have a part in the college's efforts of giving back to those members and organizations in the community that need it most. Being recognized for this award since its inception is both an honor and a privilege that clearly shows Centenary's commitment to serving the surrounding community."

The Service Learning Program at Centenary College has existed for more than 15 years and serves as one of many ways in which Centenary students are given the opportunity to make their own positive difference within the local community. According to Dr. Ken Schwab, President of Centenary College, students from Centenary and across the country are helping to renew the American spirit through service to others.

"In this time of economic uncertainty, we need volunteers more than ever," said Schwab. "College students represent an enormous pool of idealism and energy to help tackle some of our toughest challenges. Our students are tackling the toughest problems across the state and across the country, demonstrating their compassion, commitment, and creativity."

Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Honorees for the award were chosen based on a series of selection factors including 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.

Among the many projects the College was honored for included traveling to Nicaragua to assist in both the community and local school system, and the "After School for All" program where students from the Health and Exercise Science program volunteered at Creswell Elementary School to help grade-school children increase their participation in physical activity.

The Christian Leadership Center was also highlighted for its work not only with local churches and religious organizations, but also for its fall 2007 mission trip to New Orleans, spring 2008 mission trip to Mexico, and summer 2008 mission trip to Belize in which they assisted in efforts to rebuild those communities through housing and infrastructure improvement projects.

The College was also recognized for the many projects accomplished by the student-athletes for their continual work with Shreveport and Bossier City youth. "The McCann Fall Baseball League, designed as a team service project for the Centenary baseball team, gives middle and high school baseball players the opportunity to learn techniques to help not only improve their baseball skills, but also the value of staying in school, the importance of sportsmanship, and the opportunity to play sports at the college level," added Lavan.

Also receiving recognition was Centenary's Student Government Association's "BIG Event". The purpose of this event was to bring students, faculty, and staff together for one big community service and improvement project in the Highland Neighborhood. The event was the first of its kind at Centenary and turned out to be a great success bringing 280 volunteers together to produce more than 1,000 hours of service in one day's time.

The Honor Roll is a program of the Corporation, in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is presented during the annual conference of the American Council on Education.

"I offer heartfelt congratulations to those institutions named to the 2008 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll," said American Council on Education President Molly Corbett Broad. "College and university students across the country are making a difference in the lives of others every day — as are the institutions that encourage their students to serve others."

About Centenary College of Louisiana

Centenary College is a private, four-year arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Centenary is one of 16 colleges and universities constituting the Associated Colleges of the South and is regularly rated as one of the top colleges in the South. In 2008 Centenary College celebrated 100 years in the Shreveport and Bossier City communities.