Centre receives top rankings from Newsweek and Washington Monthly for service
September 1, 2011 By Elizabeth Trollinger
sorting clothes at the Salvation Army are just a few of the
projects our students regularly volunteer with,” says vice
president and dean of student life Randy Hays.
Newsweek and Washington Monthly recently gave Centre high
rankings for service. Above, Centre students repair a basketball
board at Batewood Community Park.
It’s college rankings season, and Centre continues to receive accolades from a variety of sources. This week alone, Centre has received high rankings from two media outlets for its emphasis on service.
Newsweek recently placed Centre at #20 on their list of the nation’s most service-minded colleges. The rating system at the magazine takes into account the percentage of work-study funds spent on service, as well as the prevalence of community service and service organizations on campus.
Washington Monthly ranked Centre #38 among the nation’s liberal arts colleges this week. According to their website, the institution rates schools in a unique way, based on “their contribution to the public good in three broad categories.”
Those categories are social mobility, which considers recruiting and graduating low-income students; research — expenditures on research projects and number of students who pursue graduate degrees; and service, which looks at the presence of Peace Corps ROTC on campus and hours spent doing community service.
Service is highly important to Centre and its community — in fact, before classes even begin, first-years participate in a 'service plunge' during orientation that sends them out in the community to do such varied tasks as clean trash out of Clarks Run, a stream that runs through Danville, and sort clothing for the Salvation Army.
“The Service Plunge is a great way to introduce our first-year students to something that the rest of the Centre community really values — helping others,” says vice president and dean of student life Randy Hays. “Our students, faculty and staff have a long tradition of volunteering in the local community, and this event helps set the tone for the rest of the year.”
Volunteering and community service remain important to Centre students as their time at the College progresses, and there are numerous opportunities for students looking to serve the community.
“Working with the local parks, doing clean-ups at Clarks Run, Herrington Lake and the Perryville Battlefield, helping at the Humane Society and sorting clothes at the Salvation Army are just a few of the projects that our students regularly volunteer with,” Hays says. “I think that’s a great way to ‘give back,’ and it’s very rewarding to our students to see the difference they can make.”
Many clubs and organizations at Centre focus on service, including Alpha Phi Omega, Centre’s co-ed service fraternity. Other groups include CARE (Centre Action Reaches Everyone), Best Buddies, ECCO, NEST and others.
All Greek organizations are expected to perform community service every year, and Centre’s fraternities and sororities go above and beyond the required hours to give back to the community in many ways, including fundraising for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and extensive volunteer work at Batewood Community Park.
The Bonner Program, which has a strong presence at Centre, is a popular way for students to become involved in community service. Students in the program spend a certain amount of time per week in the community, actively working alleviate poverty and improve education through civic engagement.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Forbes magazine ranks Centre 24th among all the nation's colleges and universities and has named Centre No. 1 among all institutions of higher education in the South for two years in a row. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, click here.