White House Recognizes the Trojan Culture of Service
Jan. 23, 2015
This month, USC was named to the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its outstanding work in service learning projects and student volunteerism.
The results were posted last week, and for the first time in USC’s long history of outreach, the Trojans ranked within the top 10 percent of the 700-plus applicants.
The Corporation for National and Community Service and the U.S. Department of Education honors the nation’s leading colleges and universities, students, faculty members and staff for their commitment to bettering their communities through community service and service learning.
Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, acknowledged the role and impact universities like USC play in the community.
“These schools are inspiring young leaders to roll up their sleeves and work alongside community members to solve problems,” Spencer said. “By recognizing the institutions who are leading the way to achieve meaningful, measurable results for the communities they serve, we also highlight the vital role all colleges and universities play in addressing community challenges and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement.”
In the 2013-2014 academic year, USC students volunteered more than 765,000 hours through community programs like the Joint Educational Project, the Mobile Dental Van, MESA, STEM, Kid Watch and many others.
The USC Athletics Community Outreach Program contributed a major portion of the award application. In its first year, the program, the only of its kind within collegiate athletics, accumulated 4,131 hours of service by Trojan athletes, supported 121 organizations and served more than 10,000 people.
Endowed by the Otis Booth Foundation, the Athletics Outreach Program continues to expand during its second year, bringing more than 20,000 children to USC’s campus for sporting events last fall. The distinction represents the program’s second brush with the White House this year after Bill Clinton spoke at a Trojan Kids Corner event in November.
The national honor is the highest federal recognition an institution can receive for its commitment to community, service-learning and civic engagement. “This provides a great opportunity to showcase the incredible culture of service within the USC campus and throughout our city,” Thomas Sayles, USC Senior Vice President for University Relations, said.