Centre College has been ranked #20 in the nation for service among liberal arts colleges by Washington Monthly’s annual College Guide and Ranking, proving that Centre’s students and their commitment to bettering the world through action are garnering national attention.
“Service is an essential aspect of all of our experiences on campus,” says Gregory Chery, director of community service and the Bonner Program at Centre. “Students, faculty and staff join this community because they want to make a difference in the world. This ranking confirms that service and volunteering is not simply something that we do, it is who we are.”
The Washington Monthly ranking is one of several impressive lists Centre has been featured in of late, including being distinguished as one of the top colleges in the nation by Princeton Review and Forbes as well as being named a “best buy” by Money magazine.
This is the third year in a row Centre has received a top-30 ranking in service, with the College jumping five spots over the 2015 Washington Monthly report. The ranking comes as no surprise, with the culture of service that is actively fostered and valued by the College.
Centre students become immersed in this culture of service before they even take their first classes on campus, thanks to the annual service plunge during first-year student orientation, when students volunteer across the community in a variety of capacities.
As their time at the College continues, students have a variety of service opportunities from which to choose—and over 85 percent of Centre students choose to volunteer on a regular basis.
The national Bonner Program has a strong presence at the College, with 60 Bonner scholars on campus, all of whom strive to improve the living conditions and educational opportunities of others through community service initiatives. Centre Action Reaches Everyone (C.A.R.E.) is also popular, giving students a way to work with each other while volunteering.
Many Centre students volunteer through their Greek organizations, as Greek life is an important aspect of campus. The six fraternities and five sororities on campus—as well as the co-ed service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega—are all committed to community service, raising thousands of dollars annually for such causes as St. Baldrick’s and United Way.
A tradition that has quickly become popular in recent years is Alternative Spring Break (ASB), which gives students the opportunity to use their weeklong spring break as a time to give back to others. For ASB 2016, 28 Centre students traveled to either Chicago or Caretta, W.Va., to assist those in need.
In the 2016-17 academic year, the community service projects of Centre student-athletes and athletic teams will be highlighted by Colonels in the Community, a new monthly feature of the Centre athletics website. The service initiative will also keep track of the number of volunteer hours completed by Centre student-athletes, with the total goal of 5,000 hours by the end of the spring semester.
The Washington Monthly ranking methodology intentionally measures schools “based on what they are doing for the country,” examining specifically how each college or university attempts to improve social mobility, produce research and promote public service. Through the Centre Commitment, students at the College are guaranteed an internship or research opportunity, as well as graduation in four years.
Learn more about the 2016 Washington Monthly College Rankings.
by Elizabeth Trollinger
September 5, 2016