Cresson, Pa. – Students and staff at Mount Aloysius College logged nearly 13,000 hours of community service in the last academic year. Totaling 12,780 hours of service, MAC students partnered with 217 community partners, completing 365 community projects. MAC faculty and staff also contributed to the effort. The Mount Aloysius service contributions were recognized by the White House earlier this year as the College was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This honor—the second consecutive award for Mount Aloysius—is the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.
The current industry valuation standard sets a rate of $21.79 per hour for community volunteering. Using that figure, the Mount Aloysius College cumulative contribution is valued at nearly $280,000.
Mount Aloysius President Tom Foley noted that the College’s commitment to community service is front and center in the very philosophy of the college. “Right in our Philosophy Statement we make clear—students are encouraged to synthesize faith with learning, to develop competence with compassion, to put talents and gifts at the service of others. Graduating community-ready citizens is a core function of Mount Aloysius College,” President Foley added, “Written into every campus organization’s charter and sewn deep by the founders the College – the Religious Sister of Mercy – the idea of graduating men and women ready to serve their communities is central to our mission.”
There are five categories of service considered for recognition by the President’s Honor Roll. These are Economic Opportunity; Education; Environment; Health and Wellness and Veterans and Deployed Personnel.
Volunteer contributions of the Mount Aloysius College community are monitored by the Office of Community Engagement and Social Entrepreneurship Center at the school. The purpose of the office is to serve as a conduit of information and a connection between community partners and service activities by providing information and support to students, faculty and staff in identifying and executing service projects.
The scope of the College’s service contributions touched individuals in many walks of life, both within the Southern Allegheny region and well beyond. Mount Aloysius College’s service efforts were felt in 18 Pennsylvania counties including: Allegheny, Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Centre, Clearfield Cumberland, Dauphin, Elk, Fayette, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Lebanon, Schuylkill, Somerset, Westmoreland and York. Communities were served by Mount Aloysius volunteers in New Orleans, Louisiana and clean-up crews visited New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy. Much needed Mount Aloysius service work also took MAC volunteers to both Guyana and Honduras.
Several Mount Aloysius College service projects targeted veterans and projects. “Soles4Souls” and World Help: Christmas for an Orphan were international projects.
Mount Aloysius College service efforts attracted four Scholars in Service to Pennsylvania awards from the Philadelphia Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development. WISE Women of Blair County granted $5,000 for the Third Annual Pathways to Empowerment Workshop, scheduled to be held this year. The Sisters of Mercy’s Healthy Community Initiative Grant for $4,000 was awarded for support of the Mercy Youth Initiative.