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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Making the 'Honor Roll'

When I was in high school, I made the honor roll twice. Whatever math class I happened to be taking at the time invariably boxed me out of the super-smart-kid club. Second semester of my junior year, though, I somehow pulled a B in analytic geometry and made it onto the honor roll for what would be the last time in my high school career (taking calculus as a senior ended any honor roll hopes before they began).

I remember making the honor roll my junior year not just because of the analytic geometry thing (please don't ask me a question about the subject because what I learned hasn't stuck), but because I made it with straight Bs. What can I say? I was pacing myself.

Well, it's nice to see Emory aims a bit higher.

In February, Emory earned the prestigious 2008 Presidential Award for General Community Service, the highest federal award a university can receive for service. The University was presented with the award (take a look above) at a ceremony in Washington as part of the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

The EAA, through its Emory Cares International Service Day program, is proud to have contributed to this award, and it's that contribution that brought me and my co-worker Jennifer Hayward, assistant director for alumni programs, to an April 29 on-campus celebration to recognize the accomplishment. That and the baked ravioli, which were really good.

The celebration was held in the atrium of the James B. Williams Medical Education Building and featured representatives from all over campus, alumni, faculty, students, and staff.

In 2008, the Emory community devoted more than 150,000 hours of service to some 200 community partners. If that isn't something worth celebration, I'm not sure what is. This award, according to alumni speaker Eric Tanenblatt 88C, a board member of the Corporation for National and Community Service, places Emory "at the leading edge of a broad national effort to rekindle service."

"Service learning is intrinsic to a liberal arts education," said Maria Town 09C, president of the Student Government Association. "Community service doesn't have to exist in a secondary sphere. It can be a constant commitment that is a part of every aspect of our lives."

Ozzie Harris, senior vice provost for community and diversity, wrapped up the event by handing out certificates to all of the University contributors. Jennifer found a nice spot in the foyer of the Miller-Ward Alumni House to display ours. It's a very nice addition to the room.

--Eric Rangus, director of communications, EAA

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