Emory & Henry College

The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll logo2009 Presidential Award Special Focus Area: Service to Youth From Disadvantaged Circumstances

Emory & Henry College
Emory, Virginia

Emory & Henry College views education and community service as the twin responsibilities of a liberal arts college. More than 84 percent of the college’s students participating in service projects during 2009, demonstrating the belief that every person can make a difference in the lives of others and their community.

Emory & Henry’s belief that place is an important factor has shaped the institution’s celebration of its rural roots through a collection of sustainable development projects. These projects have sought to improve people’s lives in Southwest Virginia in 2009 by helping to increase living standards with a focus on local history, nature, and art. By concentrating on investments in information technology, Emory & Henry enabled rural Fries, Virginia to transition from its former manufacturing-based economy to an economy based on cultural and outdoor recreation offerings. The town was able to make the change without sacrificing the positive amenities of small-town life.

This past year, 247 members of the Emory & Henry family also built a Habitat for Humanity house they called the “House of Hope.” In just six weeks, volunteers donated almost 1,000 hours of service and raised nearly $26,000 from the college community to construct the home.

Other service projects included tutoring and mentoring students through both the College’s Highlands Project for Public Education and the Emory & Henry Tutoring Program. Academic service-learning also provided college students hands-on opportunities to learn and serve simultaneously. A recently launched graduate program provides leadership training in the areas of public service and non-profit sustainability and remains a focus for the future.

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