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University Honored with Prestigious Civic Engagement Award
Syracuse University is among just five colleges and universities in the nation, chosen from more than 100 nominations, to share in the 2013 Higher Education Civic Engagement Awards presented by The Washington Center and the New York Life Foundation. Recipients were chosen based upon their leadership and innovation in civic engagement. SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor will accept the award today at a ceremony honoring the award winners at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
“This recognition of SU’s national leadership speaks to the stunning accomplishments of our students, faculty, staff and community partners and our commitment to the public good,” says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. “This award also affirms the fundamental principle that higher education institutions and their communities are all in this together, and we must engage across boundaries to work in common purpose for the common good.”
The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, in partnership with the New York Life Foundation, established this award to celebrate institutions in the higher education community that are reaching beyond their own campuses to achieve sustainable civic impacts. The award aims to highlight, in particular, innovation and leadership in forging partnerships beyond campus to define and address issues of public concern, whether at the local, regional or international level.
“The New York Life Foundation is proud to partner with The Washington Center to honor Syracuse University for recognizing that service learning should be part of their curriculum,” says Chris Park, president of the New York Life Foundation. “Students learn the practical applications of their studies and become contributing community members in the process.”
Last year, more than 11,000 Syracuse University students—almost 60 percent of the student population—engaged the community through hundreds of courses, programs or collaborative initiatives with schools, neighborhoods and nonprofit organizations.
SU’s signature engagement initiatives range from leveraging the arts in economic revitalization to urban education reform to achieving environmental sustainability and spurring green design, engaging students and faculty with cross-sector community partners to devise sustainable solutions to local challenges that resonate globally. These projects span the disciplines but share a purpose: to engage faculty and students in collaborations that advance research and learning, while meeting community needs.
“Syracuse University is a shining example of how universities are taking the traditional curriculum model and incorporating initiatives that teach self-awareness, community engagement and lifelong leadership skills,” says Mike Smith, president of The Washington Center. “SU is a true leader within the academic community and we congratulate them on this honor.”
This year’s award committee was chaired by Geri Mannion of Carnegie Corporation and included Doug Wood of the Ford Foundation, Robert Hackett of the Bonner Foundation, Heather Smith of Rock the Vote and Peter Levine of CIRCLE at Tufts University.
The academic institutions receiving the 2013 Civic Engagement Award are The Citadel, California State University at Monterey Bay, Portland State University, Southern University at New Orleans and Syracuse University.
The Washington Center (www.twc.edu) for Internships and Academic seminars is an independent, nonprofit organization that serves hundreds of colleges and universities in the United States and other countries by providing selected students challenging opportunities to work and learn in Washington, D.C., for academic credit. The largest program of its kind, The Washington Center has more than 50,000 alumni who have become leaders in numerous professions and nations around the world. It was established in 1975.
Inspired by New York Life’s tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided more than $155 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. Through its focus on “Nurturing the Children,” the foundation supports programs that benefit young people, particularly in the areas of educational enhancement and childhood bereavement. The foundation also encourages and facilitates the community involvement of employees, agents and retirees of New York Life through its Volunteers for Life program. To learn more, visit the foundation’s website at www.newyorklifefoundation.org.