For Fifth Time, W&J Receives White House Honor for Community Service

Created: February 3, 2017
Last Updated: February 6, 2020

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WASHINGTON, PA (Feb. 3, 2017) – For the fifth time, Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) has earned a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The College is a 2015 recipient; 2016 Honor Roll awardees will be announced later this year.

“At W&J, we want to be a campus that engages in community service and collaboration,” said Justin Dandoy, director of Community Engagement at W&J. “Receiving this honor demonstrates to current and prospective students that, if you are a student at W&J, community engagement will be part of your student experience. Creating responsible citizens is central to our Mission, and this being named to the Honor Roll reiterates that.”

The President of the United States annually recognizes higher education institutions that serve as outstanding models of community service, and that achieve meaningful, measurable outcomes in their communities through programming carried out by students, faculty, staff.

Honorees are chosen based on a number of factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the institution’s curriculum, the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships, and measurable community outcomes as a result of service.

W&J is committed to promoting the education of students through engaged citizenship, including social responsibility and participation in the community. To that end, students, faculty, and staff are involved in a number of programs both on and off campus. W&J is home to chapters of nine service organizations: GIVE; Habitat for Humanity; Colleges Against Cancer, the collegiate American Cancer Society group; Big Brothers Big Sisters; Presidents Without Borders, which is based on the Doctors Without Borders model; the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, Rotaract, Pres Prep tutoring services; and W&J Venturing.

The first-year Day of Service is an annual service event for incoming freshmen, and the W&J Office of Community Engagement has implemented large-scale service programs in which W&J students serve at area agencies for a pre-determined number of hours per semester. These programs have connected students with more than 20 local agencies and community-based programs.

The Greeks Give Back day, established in 2013, connects W&J fraternity and sorority members with local organizations for volunteer efforts, including the LeMoyne Multicultural Community Center, Washington City Mission, and Highland Ridge Community Development Corporation. The College also recognizes the MLK Day of Service annually, with students and staff participating in charitable efforts for various local organizations. Among numerous other efforts, W&J’s Volunteer Community Health Coach Program partners with Jefferson Hospital to provide support for local individuals recovering from hospital stays in order to combat avoidable and costly hospital readmissions. Each month faculty, staff, and students participate in Greater Washington County Food Bank Produce to People, a large-scale food distribution effort.

Nationally and in Pennsylvania, W&J is a member of Pennsylvania Campus Compact and Campus Compact, the NASPA Lead Initiative, and is a partner of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh. Locally, W&J is a member of CommUNITY in WashPA, a forum for the greater Washington community whose members organize events to promote a peaceful and unified Washington.

“This honor recognizes the power of collaborative campus and community efforts; A power that our Washington, Pa. community has,” Dandoy said. “The efforts for which W&J has been recognized could not have been accomplished without our local non-profits, community organizations, faculty, staff, students, local schools, and more. It’s Washington & Jefferson College’s name listed on the Honor Roll, but the honor belongs to us all.”

W&J also was named to the President’s Honor Roll in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014.

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.

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