Niagara University has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll every year since the inception of the award.
That's now seven years in a row for those counting at home.
The Catholic and Vincentian university received notice Monday that it was once again recognized among the "institutions that achieve meaningful, measurable outcomes in the communities they serve," making it the only college or university from Western New York to have made the list every year since it was launched.
The honor roll, established in 2006 by the Corporation for National and Community Service, annually highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement. It is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.
"Niagara University has achieved an excellent record of community engagement, and we are most grateful for this," said the Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M., president of Niagara University. "As an institution, we remain committed to carrying on the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul, who taught us to serve those most in need, which we strive to do daily - both on campus and especially within our local community."
The 2013 Honor Roll recipients were announced at the American Council on Education's 95th annual Meeting Leading Change on March 4 in Washington, D.C.
"We congratulate the awardees and the students for their dedication to service," said Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS. "These institutions have inspired students and faculty alike to roll up their sleeves and work alongside members of the community to solve problems and improve their neighbors' lives."
College students make a significant contribution to their communities through volunteering and service, according to the most recent Volunteering and Civic Life in America report. In 2012, 3.1 million college students dedicated more than 118 million hours of service across the country - a contribution valued at $2.5 billion.
Through Learn and Serve Niagara, one of Niagara University's core programs, students contribute more than 56,000 hours of service annually as tutors in local school districts and as interns and volunteers in more than 40 social service agencies and organizations in Western New York and Southern Ontario.
Niagara University also recently announced the opening of its Institute for Civic Engagement, an initiative conceived to strengthen existing community partnerships and form new town-gown relationships.
"Communities are strengthened when we all come together, and we are encouraged that these institutions and their students have made service a priority," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "Civic engagement should be a key component of every student's education experience. Through reaching out to meet the needs of their neighbors, these students are deepening their impact, strengthening our democracy, and ultimately preparing themselves to be successful citizens."
A total of 690 higher education institutions across the country were named to the 2013 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
To view the full 2013 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, visit http://www.nationalservice.gov/pdf/2013_hr_list.pdf.
For more information on Niagara University's commitment to community service, visit http://www.niagara.edu/serving-the-community.
The Corporation for National and Community Service oversees the honor roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education. Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.
Since its founding, the honor roll has helped to increase the public's awareness of the contributions that colleges and their students make to local communities and the nation as a whole.