Celebrating Community Service at the State House

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Gov_Award55On April 7, elected as well as appointed public officials, community leaders, and partners convened to recognize Wheelock College’s designation as one of the nation’s top four higher education institutions for community service. Wheelock College received the 2014 White House Award in Education, the recipient of the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

The speakers at the Massachusetts State House ceremony included:

  • President Jackie Jenkins-Scott
  • Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker
  • Rahn Dorsey, Chief of Education for the City of Boston on behalf of Mayor Walsh
  • Bill Basl, Director of AmeriCorps at the Corporation for National and Community Service
  • House Education Committee Chair Alice Hanlon Peisch
  • State Representative Gloria Fox
  • Olga Pirela, Regional Manager, U.S. Department of Education, on behalf of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
  • Wheelock College Board of Trustees Chair Kate Taylor

Administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll designation is the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement. Wheelock College earned the highest distinction in the education category. This is the fourth consecutive year that Wheelock has been recognized by CNCS for achievements in community service with a place on the Honor Roll.

With reference to Wheelock College and community service, President Jenkins-Scott said, “It’s in our DNA. It’s what makes Wheelock, Wheelock.” Wheelock students provide an estimated 220,000 hours of service annually to the community in more than 280 Boston area organizations.

Gov_Award59Gov. Baker said: “While recognition is terrific … there is something more to this. [Community service] is just simply part of what Wheelock is all about. … In the long run, that legacy will be a lot more important than the award you receive today or the award you win tomorrow.”

Gov_Award68Rahn Dorsey, representing Boston’s Mayor Walsh was also eloquent, remarking in a tribute to the College: “I’m honored to recognize service because I began my own career and path as a City Year corps member, and I saw the power of what service can do in a young person’s life, and I saw the transformation that happens in communities when service is actually meaningful. It’s even more powerful when a world-class organization like Wheelock College gets involved and starts dedicating the service of its staff and students to local communities. Wheelock exemplifies the best of what higher education has to offer, not only opening the doors to learning, but really pushing its assets out into communities … where the impact is felt way beyond the classroom. [Wheelock College] is a leader among its peers.”

Gov_Award75State Representative Gloria Fox presented a Joint Resolution recognizing Wheelock for the community service award, “Resolved that the Massachusetts General Court recognizes Wheelock College for being named the 2014 Presidential Award Winner in the Education Category by President Obama’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and honors the outstanding contributions made by students, alumni, faculty and staff to inspire a world of good through unique, innovative, and passionate service.”

Gov_Award80Representing the Corporation for National and Community Service, Bill Basl presented two very special awards. President Jackie Jenkins-Scott received the 2014 Presidential Award in Education on behalf of Wheelock College. Additionally, Jerome McKoy, employed at Wheelock College Dining Services by Sodexo, was presented with the President’s Volunteer Service Award. McKoy, a United States Army Veteran with nearly twenty years of service, displayed fortitude and dedication during the winter’s many the frigid storms. Despite blizzard conditions, McKoy walked to and from work, never late or missing one scheduled shift.

The event ended with words from Board of Trustees Chair Kate Taylor who thanked President Jackie Jenkins-Scott for working tirelessly to continue advancing the mission of Wheelock, to the dedicated faculty and staff, alums and students all who joined in contributing to the award.

Link to view photos from the event

Link to view video of the full event