Centre’s dedication to service highlighted in Washington Monthly national ranking
Centre College continues to prove its excellence by every measure with its most recent ranking by Washington Monthly magazine. Ranked #32 among the nation’s top 255 liberal arts colleges, this marks the fifth year in a row the College has earned a top-50 designation, and with a three-spot increase over last year’s ranking.
Washington Monthly’s unique ranking methodology rates colleges based on their “contribution to the public good” in three categories: social mobility, research and service. Social mobility measures a college’s commitment to both admitting and graduating low-income students; research takes into account the institution’s total spending on research and the number of graduates who pursue higher degrees; and service analyzes the number of students participating in service, the total number of service hours, the amount of alumni who serve in the Peace Corps and the size and quality of ROTC programs.
Centre scored especially well in the service category, coming in at #25 in the nation. This ranking is supported by the fact that 80 percent of Centre students participate in community service on a regular basis.
“Service to others is a part of the fabric of what it means to be a Centre student,” explains Randy Hays, vice president and dean of student life. “Our students make a real difference in the community—year in, year out.”
Serving certainly is a way of life at Centre. Almost as soon as first-year students arrive on campus, they participate in a Service Plunge, immersing themselves in the needs of the community. More than 400 first-year and returning students participated in this year’s Service Plunge, volunteering at 14 sites across Boyle and Mercer counties to perform a total of 1,200 hours of service.
Throughout the year, students routinely give back to the community through organizations such as Centre Action Reaches Everyone (CARE), the national coed service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega and the United Way. The ten Greek organizations on campus are also highly active in philanthropy and community outreach.
Further proof that College places a special emphasis on service is its thriving Bonner Program, a national leadership program that focuses on community service and civic engagement. Currently, 63 students at Centre participate in Bonner and collectively perform an average of 15,750 hours of service per academic year.
According to Matthew Klooster, the College’s director of community service and the Bonner Program, Centre has a long and proud tradition of dedicating the time, energy and resources necessary to make a positive difference in the world.
“Our campus culture upholds the ethic that much personal growth can be derived from engaging our community and working to meet the needs of its members,” he says. “Centre students have also learned that there is a major personal and professional return derived from investing in the needs of others, and this has culminated in many generations of Centre graduates who engage in thoughtful and impactful global citizenship.”
Above all, the Centre community remains committed to service for the right reasons.
“With Centre’s mission to prepare students for lives of learning, leadership and service, it’s always nice to see our students being recognized for giving back to the community,” says Hays. “But it pleases me more that they do it not for the recognition, but just because it’s the right thing to do.”
See the complete ranking of liberal arts colleges on Washington Monthly’s list.
Read more about Washington Monthly’s ranking methodology.
by Caitlan Cole