DAVENPORT — St. Ambrose University made the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The university was one of 511 honor roll colleges and universities nationwide that President Barack Obama commended recently for engaging students, faculty and staff in meaningful service that achieves measureable results in the community.
“St. Ambrose is truly honored and humbled to be chosen for the President’s Community Service Honor Roll,” said Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, president of St. Ambrose. “While recognition from the highest level of the federal government is very meaningful, our work in the community is simply a part of who we are as a university and speaks to our mission of enriching lives.”
Father Chuck Adam, chaplain and campus minister at St. Ambrose, said the university has been involved in service since its founding in the 1880s. The seminary/college, now university, was a place to make a difference and be of service to the diocese, broader Church and world, he said, quoting the school’s founder, Bishop John McMullen.
Today, St. Ambrose’s mission and vision statements address enriching lives and helping others through social justice and service among other things, Fr. Adam said.
Student service includes yard work, retreats, fundraising
Here are some highlights of service projects and hours St. Ambrose University students completed last school year:
• Bee the Difference Day, a project helping campus neighbors with house or yard work, involved 225 Ambrosians providing a total of 900 hours of service to 72 neighborhood residents.
• Students on five service trips organized by Ambrosians for Peace and Justice logged more than 1,300 hours total while volunteering in East St. Louis, Ill., Charleston, S.C., an alternative high school in Appalachia and a Chicago shelter for the homeless.
• During Welcome Week’s “Urban Plunge,” nearly 500 students volunteered 1,300 hours of simultaneous community service across the Quad-Cities area.
• Volunteers in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program spent 315 hours with their “Littles” in a variety of activities on campus, in schools and in the community.
• Seventeen students provided confirmation retreats for area junior high students, and 40 student-leaders led Antioch retreats for a total of 1,330 volunteer hours.
• SAU Habitat for Humanity logged more than 760 hours helping the local affiliate and volunteering during spring break.
• More than 80 Ambrosians fasted a total of 2,400 hours to raise awareness of worldwide hunger, and gathered canned goods and cash for local food pantries during Fast Fest. Volunteers during Hunger Week raised enough money to package 2,660 meals with Kids Against Hunger QC.
• “Souper” Bowl Sunday raised $500 to fight hunger, and an additional $3,000 was raised for Pakistan, Japan and other places struck by disaster.
• SAU Up ’til Dawn raised $13,000 for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
• St. Ambrose student-athletes provided 7,700 hours of local community service. Also, many professors incorporated volunteer hours and service to the community as a part of the curriculum.
Other examples of student service included filling sand bags, helping with the Project Renewal 5K run, visiting the L’Arche community in Clinton and volunteering for Ambrose’s “Service on Saturdays.”