Millsaps College and its extensive involvement in community service earned the college the honor of being named for the fifth consecutive year to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the U.S. Department of Education. In addition, Millsaps was recognized as one of the top 20 colleges and universities in the country for our community engagement work in and with the Midtown community, and was one of only five institutions nationwide recognized as a finalist for the 2012 Honor Roll's Special Focus Area distinction.
The Finalist distinction recognizes several programs implemented by Millsaps students during the 2010-2011 school year, including the 100% Adopt-A-Class program at Brown Elementary in Midtown, which also won a 2011 Governor's Award for Excellence in education partnerships. For that program, Millsaps student organizations "adopted" all 15 classrooms plus the library, music program and after-school program at Brown. Millsaps students provided tutoring and mentoring, developed learning modules and provided and funded field trips and enrichment events.
Recognition was also received for Smart to the Core, science and literacy interventions, and Dropping In, Not Out, a series of programs designed to empower the successful transition of Midtown youth from middle school to high school.
"This is the highest standing any institution in Mississippi has ever achieved and we are very proud of our service-minded students and teachers," said Millsaps College President Robert Pearigen.
This is the fifth year that Millsaps has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Honorees were chosen from applicants based on a series of factors including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships and measurable community outcomes.
Millsaps' community service is led through the 1 Campus 1 Community initiative that places special emphasis on the development of college-community partnerships with the Midtown neighborhood and Jackson Public Schools. During the 2010-2011 academic year, 927 students engaged in over 33,000 hours of community service.
"Our students see service as a vital part of their college experience. Our focus on the Midtown neighborhood and JPS embodies the college's commitment to a place-based practice of community engagement and public service," said Dr. Darby Ray, professor of religious studies and director of 1 Campus 1 Community.
The 1 Campus 1 Community initiative receives support from the Walker Foundation, the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson, AmeriCorps VISTA, and Learn and Serve America.
The Corporation for National and Community Service, which has administered the Honor Roll since 2006, admitted a total of 642 schools to colleges and universities for their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth.
In addition to earning a spot on the Honor Roll for the past five years, Millsaps has also recently earned these distinctions for its involvement in community service: