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Adventist excellence: La Sierra University receives Presidential Service Award

Adventist excellence: La Sierra University receives Presidential Service Award

La Sierra University

Riverside, California/USA [ANN Staff; CD EUDNews]. La Sierra University was one of five educational institutions named a Presidential Awardee in the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest honor a college or university

April 01, 2013 | ANN; CD EUDNews;

Riverside, California/USA [ANN Staff; CD EUDNews]. La Sierra University was one of five educational institutions named a Presidential Awardee in the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest honor a college or university in the United States can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement. La Sierra, a Seventh-day Adventist university located in Riverside, California, received the award for its efforts to improve educational and developmental outcomes for children in distressed areas.

At a March 4, 2013, ceremony in Washington, D.C., La Sierra president Randal Wisbey received the 2013 Presidential Award from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) during the annual meeting of the American Council on Education. “Service to others is a key part of La Sierra’s mission and indicative of the Christian ethos that drives our work as a learning community,” Wisbey said. “I am humbled by the way in which students, faculty, and staff daily live out this value through formal and informal outreach efforts to help people in local and global communities.”

Jonathan Greenblatt, special assistant to President Barack Obama, and Wendy Spencer, CNCS CEO, presented the award. Projects in La Sierra’s Promise Neighborhoods initiative included tutoring and mentoring elementary students, fund-raising for after-school programs in the surrounding public school district, and interactive learning experiences created by biology and communication students in the university’s natural history museum.

Total service hours, including all campus service and overseas missions, culminated in nearly 1,900 students fulfilling almost 85,000 hours. For academic service-learning classes alone, about 900 La Sierra students provided more than 14,000 hours of service. The four other 2013 Presidential Award winners were Georgia Perimeter College in Georgia, Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, the University of Connecticut, and Nazareth College in New York. A total of 690 higher educational institutions were named this year to the organization’s honor roll.

CNCS, an independent federal agency, has administered the award since 2006 and manages the program in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the American Council on Education and Campus Compact.

Global Adventist Education

Since its early days Adventists have embraced the philosophy that education should be redemptive in nature, for the purpose of restoring human beings to the image of God, our Creator. Mental, physical, social, and spiritual health, intellectual growth, and service to humanity form a core of values that are essential aspects of the Adventist education philosophy.

To ensure that the church gives appropriate and professional approach to the church's education interests, an Education Department was established on all levels of the church's administrative system, with responsibility to ensure that the Adventist philosophy of education and the principles of faith-and-learning are integrated into the life of each of its more than 1.7 million students in its 7,883 schools, colleges and universities around the world. Working closely with the education offices of the 13 world divisions (regions) of the church, operating schools in 115 countries, staff at the corporate world headquarters helps to ensure the quality of the global Seventh-day Adventist educational system and its work also includes collaboration with other ministries of the church to help nurture the faith of Adventist students attending colleges and universities outside of the denomination system worldwide.

picture: La Sierra University president Randal Wisbey, center, received the 2013 Presidential Award from Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and Jonathan Greenblatt, special assistant to U.S. president Barack Obama at a March 4, 2013, ceremony. [PHOTO: LSU]

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