Unity, Maine – March 22, 2012 –  For the third year in a row, Unity College has been named to the President’s Community Service Honor Roll, awarded by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).  Unity College joins fourteen other colleges across the United States that were named honor roll finalists.  Unity’s distinction as an honor roll finalist placed it in the highest award category for a college from Maine.

Within the honor roll finalist category Unity College was commended for general community service, which considers the scope and quality of an institution’s community service, service-learning, and civic engagement programs.

Community service is an important part of the Unity College culture and curriculum.

“Service is a very important part the values that make the College a special place,” noted Jennifer Olin, Community-Based Service Learning Coordinator.  “Our students are often involved in transformative community service activities that not only enrich their learning experiences, but help Unity’s neighboring communities in a variety of ways.”

“Community service opportunities are a crucial component of the College’s commitment to offering real world learning experiences,” noted Alisa Johnson, Dean for Enrollment Management.  “This is a commitment that plays a significant role in our ability to consistently enroll future environmental leaders.”

“Through service, these institutions are creating the next generation of leaders by challenging students to tackle tough issues and create positive impacts in the community,” said Robert Velasco, Acting CEO of CNCS. “We applaud the Honor Roll schools, their faculty and students for their commitment to make service a priority in and out of the classroom. Together, service and learning increase civic engagement while fostering social innovation among students, empowering them to solve challenges within their communities.”

“Preparing students to participate in our democracy and providing them with opportunities to take on local and global issues in their course work are as central to the mission of education as boosting college completion and closing the achievement gap,” said Eduardo Ochoa, the U.S. Department of Education’s assistant secretary for postsecondary education. “The Honor Roll schools should be proud of their work to elevate the role of service-learning on their campuses. Galvanizing their students to become involved in projects that address pressing concerns and enrich their academic experience has a lasting impact – both in the communities in which they work and on their own sense of purpose as citizens of the world. I hope we’ll see more and more colleges and universities following their lead.”

The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities. Inspired by the thousands of college students who traveled across the country to support relief efforts along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, the initiative celebrates the transformative power and volunteer spirit that exists within the higher education community. The CNCS, which has administered the Honor Roll since 2006, admitted a total of 642 schools to colleges and universities for their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth. Of that total, 513 were named to the Honor Roll, 110 received the recognition of Honor Roll with distinction, 14 were identified as finalists, and five received the Presidential Award. Campuses named to this year’s Honor Roll reported that nearly one million of their students engaged in service learning and more than 1.6 million participated in other forms of community service, serving a total of more than 105 million hours. For a full list of recipients, visithttp://www.nationalservice.gov/about/initiatives/honorroll.asp.

In 2011, Unity College was named to the top ten of the Washington Monthly college rankings, and was one of eighteen U.S. colleges and universities named to The Princeton Review’s Green Rating Honor Roll.

Unity College is a small private college in rural Maine that provides dedicated, engaged students with a liberal arts education which emphasizes the environment and natural resources. Unity College graduates are prepared to be environmental stewards, effective leaders, and responsible citizens through active learning experiences within a supportive community.

Thursday, March 22, 2012