Faithful Arms of Volunteers

IF YOU WERE to define the qualities of a vibrant community, what traits would you choose? Topping my list, in no particular order, would be a thriving business environment, outstanding public schools, low crime rate and compassionate peo- ple with both a strong work ethic and a devotion to volunteer service. The Town of Bloomsburg is such a community and contributing to its vibrancy are Bloomsburg University’s students, faculty and staff.

Volunteerism is integral to the lives of BU Huskies. We encourage our students to take advantage of the many opportunities coordinated through the SOLVE volunteer office where they can put their energy, dedication and leadership abilities to good use. In honor of our efforts, BU was recognized again last spring with inclusion in The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Of particular note were three large-scale projects to benefit the community: two to fight hunger and another to benefit local service agencies.
In 2010, our students, faculty and staff contributed more than 80,550 hours of community service, which the organization Independent Sector valued at $20.51 per hour or more than $1.65 million for the year. That impressive amount nearly matches the Bloomsburg University Foundation’s largest donation to date — $1.67 million from Terry ’76 and JoAnn ’77 Zeigler to establish the Zeigler Institute for Professional Development.

The total number of volunteer hours in 2011 will surely surpass previous tallies. When Tropical Storm Lee menaced our region with record flooding in September, hundreds of students, faculty and staff responded to the community’s needs. No job was too large as our student athletes, Greeks and others cleared mud from homes’ basements and first floors, removed water-logged floors and walls, worked at the Emergency Management Agency’s phone bank and the local American Red Cross office, cared for evacuees’ pets at Annie’s Place, the animal shelter on the Upper Campus, and so much more. When classes resumed after the university’s 10-day closure, volunteer efforts continued. I am so proud of the members of our campus community represented by those you will meet beginning on page 16.

French author Everett Mamor said, “The world is hugged by the faithful arms of volunteers.” It is clear our faculty, staff and students have the Town of Bloomsburg in a tight embrace.

DAVID L. SOLTZ President, Bloomsburg University

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