Murray State named in president’s honor roll

The Corporation for National and Community Service has awarded Murray State the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll award for the third consecutive year.

This federal agency recognizes higher education institutes that mirror values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their community.

The corporation announced Murray State had won the award at the American Council on Education annual conference in Los Angeles on March 12.

“This honor certainly validates our efforts to create a culture of outreach and community service at Murray State,” University President Randy Dunn, said. “I am a firm believer in the notion that the special calling of an institution like Murray State is to be a steward of the region, using the power, visibility, capacity and economic engine a University provides to elevate the quality of life for those within its catchment area.”

Those nominated for the award are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service learning is embedded in the curriculum, the commitment to long-term campus and community partnerships, and measurable community outcomes as a result of service.

Don Robertson, vice president of Student Affairs, said winning an award such as the Presidents Honor Roll gives the University the chance to see exactly how much work they do.

“Being singled out as an institution for an honor such as this, gives faculty, staff and students the right to take pride in themselves,” he said.

Robertson said this award indicates to others, outside the University, that Murray State is institution of fine quality and he believes an award of this magnitude adds to the degree the student receives upon graduation.

Bob Long, professor of youth and nonprofit leadership, said the award gives recognition to Murray State for its accomplishment in promoting students to get more involved in the community.

Murray State submitted three projects as part of the application process for the award.

These projects included the Giving Back Scholars initiative, the Hooked on Science project and the Dancefest project.

Long said the programs seek to advance the understanding, appreciation and application of the principles of altruism, generosity, caring, and service to others among Murray State students and faculty and across the Murray/Calloway County Community.

“I think by winning this award the University has proven it has a deep-rooted connection with the community,” he said.

The Giving Back Scholars initiative serves as a resource for Murray State students in the youth and nonprofit leadership program to promote quality volunteer engagement with community organization through competitive grant awards. This initiative is in its third year.

The Hooked on Science project, supported by Murray State’s Office of Regional Stewardship and Outreach is aimed toward getting students in grades K-12, throughout Murray State’s service region, excited about science, engineering and technology.

The Dancefest project provides the opportunity for students in grades three through eight to learn dance. Over 300 students learned choreography last year and performed in an assembly at Lovett Auditorium.

These three submitted projects proved to the agency that Murray State provided significant community service and achieved meaningful outcomes in its community.

Bonnie Higginson, vice president of Academic Affairs, said Murray State has always been known for its community works.

“We have so many service-oriented projects,” she said. “So it is great when we receive national recognition for the work that we do.”