Upper Iowa University earns Presidential honor for community service

FAYETTE, Iowa (December 11, 2014) –Upper Iowa University has been named to the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Three diverse service projects highlighted for this honor are central to UIU earning recognition for its commitment to developing global citizens who become life-long learners.

“Upper Iowa University has a long history of community service and believes strongly in preparing our graduates to be active leaders and participants in an ever changing world,” said UIU President William R. Duffy II. “We’re honored to receive this prestigious award – and owe much of the credit to the students themselves. They are the energy driving our commitment, and they are the ones who make it happen. We are grateful to our faculty and staff who provide the leadership to make these opportunities available to students, and who are personal examples of service, volunteerism and community engagement.”

Fayette campus departments and students have worked diligently for two years to form a cooperative relationship with the Fayette-based Maple Crest Nursing and Care Center. The partnership has yielded valuable classroom experiences as students learn about the psychology of aging. Programming at Maple Crest is enriched by the interaction of students with residents. Upper Iowa’s community service-based club, Peacocks for Progress, took the initiative in promoting Maple Crest’s Caring Leaves program. The mission of Caring Leaves is to not only help the residents of Maple Crest, but to also help community members by allowing them to gain experience and become more familiar and comfortable with the elderly community. Through this program of community service, Maple Crest and Upper Iowa University have formed a bond that enables teams, clubs and individuals to assist in activities of interest with the residents.

The second project honored the students, faculty and staff at UIU-Prairie du Chien, Wis., for their commitment to the local Relay for Life event. UIU-Prairie du Chien has gone above and beyond to help raise awareness for cancer research and much-needed continual care associated with the disease. Participating in a Relay for Life event in the Prairie du Chien area, a community of about 5,900 residents, the participants helped raise over $44,000 to impact the lives of over 15,000 individuals in the region. They gave their time to obtain sponsorships for their walk and committed to walking at the event for over 14 hours straight. One UIU student spearheaded the event by planning and marketing the local Relay for Life and put in over 300 hours herself.

For the third project, a Unified Sports Day on the Fayette campus was highlighted. For three years, Upper Iowa University students, faculty and staff have coordinated a special event to serve people with various abilities in northeast Iowa. Dr. Billie Cowley, assistant professor of education, initially contacted Special Olympics Iowa four years ago to express UIU’s interest in hosting an event that would bring people together on the Fayette campus for a non-competitive day of sporting activities and crafts. The first Unified Sports Day at Upper Iowa saw over 100 participants enjoying a day-long event participating in over 10 events. Over 60 volunteers comprised of students, student-athletes, faculty and staff, as well as Upper Iowa’s sororities and fraternities, assisted. The following year saw the doubling of volunteers as the event grew in popularity at Upper Iowa. Building relationships is extremely important for this event. Several aspects of the university, as well as communities came together to make this event possible. Upper Iowa’s Recreation Center and the Athletics Department provided the facility free of charge, as well as equipment. UIU Dining Services through ARAMARK provided the food at no cost, while the Oelwein Chapter of the Knights of Columbus served the meal in the Student Center.

The President’s Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions whose community service efforts achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities. This distinction is the highest federal recognition that colleges and universities can receive for community service, service-learning and civic engagement.

About Upper Iowa University Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 5,800 students—nationally and internationally—at its Fayette campus, 25 U.S. education locations, as well as locations in Malaysia and Hong Kong. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and self-paced degree programs. With a focus on developing leaders and lifelong learners, UIU provides dual enrollment programs for high school students as well as continuing education and professional development opportunities for learners of any age. For more information, visit www.uiu.edu.


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