Steve Sartori

Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw meets with Maria Malagisi ’04,
left, Michael Bevivino ’03, Lindsay Pendergast ’04, and Nadine Aut ’03, the authors of Buzz the Big Orange Hat. They created the children’s book as a fund-raising project for the SU Literacy Corps. For more information on the book, see page 5.


The students involved in community service you’ll read about in this issue of Syracuse University Magazine are doing far more than meeting an immediate need. They are fulfilling one of this institution’s core values, forging stronger links between the University and the wider community, and, best of all, helping themselves become better students, citizens, and adults.

Syracuse University’s commitment to its core value of service is abundantly evident in more than 500,000 hours of volunteering contributed each year by faculty, staff, and students. Students, in particular, are volunteering in greater numbers, thanks in part to campus initiatives like Students Offering Service, which is a Hendricks Chapel program, and the University’s Center for Public and Community Service, which serves as both a clearinghouse for service opportunities and a promoter of such activities. And an increasing number of students—670 in 2001-02—actually earn academic credit through courses designed with a service-learning component.

The commitment to service touches the community in countless beneficial ways. Our efforts range from an entirely student-built house through Habitat for Humanity and plans for a city park designed by student architects, to legal representation in the courts by our law students and literacy-building by University students in the most disadvantaged city schools. The recipients of these services—both those in need and those who manage the various social service agencies—are universal in their praise of our students’ efforts.

Finally, while students who serve have different reasons for doing so, all of them benefit from the experience. Research on the subject points to gains in many areas among student volunteers: higher grade point averages; stronger leadership, conflict resolution, and social skills; greater support for a clean, healthy environment; more acceptance of people who are different from themselves; and a deeper empathy for those in need. Better still, students who serve remain involved citizens—people who care about their communities, vote regularly, and continue to volunteer throughout their lives.

To me, that’s a great return on a relatively modest investment of time and energy.

Kenneth A. Shaw
Chancellor and President

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