Milligan College, Tenn. (March 8, 2013) — Milligan College is one of six institutions in Tennessee to be named to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction. One of only 100 institutions selected nationwide, this designation is the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.
“For nearly 150 years, servant-leadership has been an essential part of Milligan’s mission, so it is an honor to be recognized among a prestigious group of institutions that are committed to service,” said Milligan President Bill Greer. “We encourage our students — through their scholarship, community and faith — to reflect on what it means to be called to lives of service in all professions.”
Out of more than 1,025 applicants, 690 were recognized across four honor roll categories. The other five Tennessee institutions included in the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction include Belmont University, Lee University, Rhodes College, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Vanderbilt University.
Honorees were selected for projects deemed meaningful, relevant and exemplary. Milligan was chosen for the Honor Roll with Distinction for its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA), Theatre for Young Audiences “Health Heroes to the Rescue!” and Service Saturdays.
Milligan’s VITA program, now in its fifth year, provides a free alternative to qualified taxpayers that offers the same fast refunds as paid preparers. Taxpayers eligible for VITA services include: people with annual incomes of less than $50,000, anyone with a physical disability, non English-speaking citizens, and people older than 55. In 2012, student volunteers completed nearly 450 returns, saving clients more than $100,000 compared to if they had used fee-based services.
For 25 years, Milligan’s Theatre for Young Audiences has traveled to elementary schools throughout the region to perform original plays with an educational message. “Health Heroes to the Rescue!” was a fast-paced, energy-filled production aimed at teaching children in kindergarten through third grade the lifelong benefits of healthy living. The play was performed at 10 elementary schools for more than 3,000 children.
Service Saturdays were created by Milligan’s Institute for Servant Leadership as a series of service events initiated by students to meet a need in the community. Last year, students created three unique events to serve youth in the local community. They also partnered with 15 community service agencies to support services for the elderly, homeless, hospitalized and imprisoned, as well those serving in international missions. Students contributed over 11,000 hours and reached more than 1,500 people through Service Saturday projects.
“Service is ingrained in our programs and our mission,” said Beth Anderson, director of Milligan’s Institute for Servant Leadership. “Through co-curricular programming, over 75 percent of our student organizations have service as their mission or they support awareness of or participate in service as part of their activities.”
Inspired by the thousands of college students who traveled across the country to support relief efforts along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has administered the award since 2006 and manages the program in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as the American Council on Education and Campus Compact.
“Congratulations to Milligan College, its faculty, staff and students for its commitment to service, both in and out of the classroom,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS, via a press release. “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.”
More information about Milligan’s community service efforts can be found at www.milligan.edu.
###MILLIGAN COLLEGE is a Christian liberal arts college in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The college offers more than 30 undergraduate majors and four master’s degrees. To learn more about Milligan College, visit www.milligan.edu or call 800-447-5922.