For Immediate Release—Tuesday, Oct.17, 2006
Mary E. McCrank
Media Relations Officer
SUNY Geneseo Receives National
Katrina Compassion Award Today in Chicago
College one of nine in nation, only one in New York state, to garner honor
GENESEO, N.Y.—The State University of New York at Geneseo today was one of nine colleges and universities in the nation to receive a Katrina Compassion Award during the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll Awards Ceremony in Chicago.
The award, presented during the 20th anniversary celebration of Campus Compact, recognizes Geneseo out of a pool of 500 applicants for spearheading the Livingston CARES hurricane relief program, said Geneseo's Vice President for Student and Campus Life Robert A. Bonfiglio, who attended the awards ceremony with Geneseo President Christopher C. Dahl.
Geneseo was the only college or university in New York state, public or private, to receive the award. Other award recipients included Georgetown University, the University of Notre Dame, Central Michigan University, Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, La., University of Connecticut at Storrs, Xavier University of Louisiana, Louisiana Tech University and Baylor College of Dentistry/Texas A&M University System Health Science Center.
"Since leading the way to establish the New York Campus Compact in 2001, Geneseo has been at the forefront of advocating for the role higher education should play in contributing to the common good. I am pleased that, among the hundreds of colleges and universities that have sponsored Hurricane Katrina relief activities, SUNY Geneseo's innovative approach, and its caring students have received national recognition," said Bonfilgio.
In addition, Geneseo was one of 141 institutions of higher education recognized for distinguished service among the nearly 500 schools named to the first President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The colleges and universities recognized for distinguished community service were those that provided extraordinary volunteer efforts to serve neighborhoods and Gulf Coast communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
Immediately after Hurricane Katrina hit, members of the Geneseo college community joined with Livingston County administrators, the county Chamber of Commerce, the town and village of Geneseo, and local clergy and churches to form Livingston CARES (Livingston County Community Action Relief Efforts) as a unified response to mobilize and coordinate relief activities. Livingston CARES entered into a long-term relationship with Harrison County in Mississippi to provide that community with help in rebuilding, providing supplies and assistance in any way needed.
Livingston CARES has made several trips to Harrison County, and about 80 students took an alternative spring break there in March. The organization has raised more than $65,000 for the relief of hurricane victims.
The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll responds to President George W. Bush's call to service by building on and supporting the civic engagement mission of our nation's colleges and universities. The honor roll is co-sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the U.S. Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), 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 was established to increase public awareness of the contributions that college students are making through volunteer service and to promote model programs and practices in community service in higher education.
"I am especially pleased that Geneseo is receiving this recognition in this, the first year of the establishment of the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll," said Bonfiglio. "We are certain that through projects such as Livingston CARES, Geneseo students are developing a commitment to community service that will lead to a lifetime of thoughtful civic involvement."
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 cohorts in that age group who are not enrolled.
Four Livingston CARES work trips have been scheduled for January, February, March and May 2007, as well as other service projects in Biloxi and Gulfport, said Tom Matthews, director of Geneseo's leadership education, development and training, and a college liaison to the group. To
participate in Livingston CARES or for more information, go to: http://communitycare.geneseo.edu.