Lyon named to community service honor roll
Published: March 14, 2013
Students Gabby Jenkins and Debbie Onukwube paint a woman's fingernails at a local nursing home during Service Day. Lyon was recently named to the President’s Community Service Honor Roll for its community service work.
Lyon College has been named to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which administers the annual Honor Roll award, recognized 690 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from poverty and homelessness to environmental justice.
Programs highlighted by Lyon included the college’s annual Service Day, Free Store and Chimalhuacan Mexico Health Study and Initiative.
Service Day involves releasing students from their classes and faculty and staff from their regular work duties to visit sites throughout area towns. The college representatives do everything from reading to elementary school children to washing church windows to visiting nursing home residents and bagging food for low-income families. Since 1992, the Lyon campus has given more than 18,000 volunteer hours in Batesville and the surrounding area. At last year’s Service Day, 439 students, faculty and staff gave 1,397 hours of service to the community. Also, 53 units of blood were collected at a Red Cross Blood Drive on that day.
Lyon College established its Free Store in response to students wearing light clothes in winter weather conditions. Faculty and staff initiated a winter clothing drive in 2011 to provide cold weather clothing to students who needed coats, gloves, hats and scarves.
Since its inception, the Free Store has collected clothing and small miscellaneous items from faculty, staff, and the Batesville community. Lyon College’s Free Store is open for Lyon students, staff and faculty to donate and/or shop. Through the Free Store, Lyon College is working to divert reusable items from the landfill while proving a fun and free shopping experience for our campus.
The Chimalhuacan Mexico Health Study and Initiative involved four Lyon College students and three faculty members as well as a local physician. They traveled to Mexico to provide medical care for the local inhabitants and conducted interviews and surveys concerning physical, mental and civic health issues.
Lyon College Chaplain and Service Day organizer Rev. Nancy McSpadden said she is thrilled to see the college receive this honor.
“A commitment to public service is part of Lyon’s mission and one that we take seriously,” she said. “I hope that opportunities like Service Day and the Free Store, as well as the philanthropies of campus organizations, students, staff and faculty will be encouraged to make the world a better place. My personal hope is that we instill in our entire community a love for service and the opportunity to explore possibilities for giving.”
The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll honors the nation’s leading higher education institutions and their students, faculty and staff for their commitment to bettering their communities through service. These are institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities.
“Congratulations to Lyon College, its faculty, and students for its commitment to service, both in and out of the classroom,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS. “Through its work, institutions of higher education are helping improve their local communities and create a new generation of leaders by challenging students to go beyond the traditional college experience and solve local challenges.”
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, the Social Innovation Fund and other programs, and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve.