Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Roanoke Bible College Named to Presidential Honor Roll for Community Service

CONTACT: Reneé P. Lease, Service-Learning Director
February 9, 2009

Roanoke Bible College Named to Presidential Honor Roll for Community Service

[Elizabeth City, North Carolina] – The Corporation for National and Community Service honored Roanoke Bible College today with a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to America’s communities.

Dr. D. Clay Perkins, President of Roanoke Bible College remarked, "Jesus told us, ‘For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many’ (Mark 10:45). This is a part of the RBC family DNA. It is who we are, a people who serve others. Since 1948, year after year, the RBC family has demonstrated a life lived in helping others. We are honored to receive this award, since service to others is paramount to who we are and will be for years to come. I deeply appreciate those in service-learning that help to continually focus the RBC family to serve others."

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.

Roanoke Bible College has received the Honor Roll distinction for the second time due to its commitment to the Katrina relief efforts in the gulf coast region. DART (Disaster Assistance Response Team), a student led service club has organized three spring break trips to help with the clean-up and rebuilding efforts in Mississippi and Louisiana. DART has recruited students and community members with building expertise to go and serve victims of this hurricane that claimed so many lives and homes.

The service-learning program at RBC engages 100% of the student body in service through the integration of service in specific courses and a volunteer center that works to connect students with service opportunities. The service-learning department sponsored its first campus-wide community service day on January 19, 2009 by making the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday "a day on, not a day off." Congress has challenged the country to honor King by making this holiday a true commitment to something he stood for, service to the community. RBC had a total of 63 Students, 15 Staff/Faculty, and 16 individuals from the community serving our community on this holiday.

"In this time of economic distress, we need volunteers more than ever. College students represent an enormous pool of idealism and energy to help tackle some of our toughest challenges," said Stephen Goldsmith, vice chair of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees the Honor Roll. "We salute Roanoke Bible College for making community service a campus priority, and thank the millions of college students who are helping to renew America through service to others."

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. In total, 635 schools were recognized. A full list is available at www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll.

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. 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," said American Council on Education President Molly Corbett Broad.

Recent studies have underlined the importance of service-learning and volunteering to college students. In 2006, 2.8 million college students gave more than 297 million hours of volunteer service, according to the Corporation’s Volunteering in America 2007 study. Expanding campus incentives for service is part of a larger initiative to spur higher levels of volunteering by America’s college students. The Corporation is working with a coalition of federal agencies, higher education and student associations, and nonprofit organizations to achieve this goal.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. The Corporation administers Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America, a program that supports service-learning in schools, institutions of higher education and community-based organizations. For more information, go to www.nationalservice.gov.

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