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Bethel Recognized for Community Service

BY MONICA DAVIS (’10)

Bethel College received recognition from the highest levels of the federal government earlier this year through the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Honor Roll.

The Honor Roll, launched in 2006, recognizes colleges and universities nationwide that support innovative and effective community service and service-learning programs. The Honor Roll's Presidential Award, given each year to only a handful of institutions, is the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service learning and civic engagement.

Six colleges and universities will receive top honors during the American Council on Education annual meeting in Phoenix, Ariz., this month and the National Conference of Volunteering and Service Conference in New York City in June. Bethel’s recognition from the highest levels of the federal government acknowledges the commitment to service and civic engagement on its campus and throughout the nation.

“Serving others is central to a Bethel College education. A student cannot escape the opportunity to experience servant leadership during their time at Bethel. It is germane to our mission. Receiving this honor simply affirms the attainment of this priority objective. Serving others is Bethel College’s legacy!” says Dennis Engbrecht, Ph.D., senior vice president.

Bethel’s vision is focused on expanding three core values: vibrant community, excellence in teaching and learning, and service to others. There are many different ways students can engage in voluntary service. All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to volunteer their service to the community during college-sponsored “Service Days.” Students are also encouraged to be a part of short-term mission teams, called Task Force teams, during spring and summer breaks. In the past two decades, about 130 Task Force teams have travelled internationally with more than 1,500 student participants.

For a complete list of colleges and universities named to the third annual honor roll, visit www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll.

The Honor Roll is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and is sponsored by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation and the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, in partnership with Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.