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U of M Named to President's Honor Roll for Katrina Relief Efforts
For release: Oct. 17, 2006
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The University of Memphis has been named to the first President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for distinguished community service in recognition of extraordinary volunteer efforts by the school and its students to serve area neighborhoods and Gulf Coast communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

Of more than 500 colleges and universities that applied, only 141 were selected for this honor.  

The U of M helped more than 300 students who were left without a school to attend after the hurricane hit the Gulf Coast region just over a year ago. Approximately 30 students remain at the University. The U of M offered financial aid to the displaced students, and the campus community held food and clothing drives and a blood drive. A group of U of M students spent spring break last March in the Gulf Coast Region, removing debris, gutting houses, and helping rebuild the area.

"I was very proud of our efforts to help them," said U of M President Shirley Raines. "That was part of our effort in investing in people."

Student Adam Montgomery said participating in the alternative spring break made him realize how fortunate he is. "To see what other people are going through makes you more appreciative of what you have and makes you put your problems in perspective," he said.

The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is co-sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, USA Freedom Corps, and the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. The recognition is presented in cooperation with Campus Compact, a national coalition of nearly 1,000 college and university presidents, and supported by all the major national higher education associations.

The award presentations come a day after the Corporation for National and Community Service released a comprehensive study showing college student civic engagement has risen significantly in recent years. The study, which used data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed that student volunteering increased approximately 20 percent from 2002 to 2005, and that 3.3 million college students serve their communities and nation. The study showed that college students between ages 16 to 24 are more likely to volunteer than others in that age group who are not enrolled.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is working with other federal agencies, higher education and student associations, and nonprofit organizations to encourage even greater levels of service and civic engagement by college students.  Their goal is to increase the number of college students participating in volunteer service to five million annually by 2010.  

The Honor Roll provides more new evidence that the nation is beginning to move toward that level of student civic engagement. More than 1.1 million students from Honor Roll schools participated in local community service activities, and more than 219,000 Honor Roll students provided hurricane relief.

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