Eastern was honored by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the U.S. Department of Education on March 12 as one of the nation's colleges and universities that are leading the way in bettering their communities through community service and service learning.
While 642 institutions of higher learning were acknowledged on President Obama's "Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll," Eastern was one of only 110 schools in the country to be admitted to the special honor roll category, "With Distinction." Of 14 colleges and universities in Connecticut who made the honor roll, Eastern was joined only by the University of Connecticut in the "with distinction" category.
"Community service has been a hallmark at Eastern since our earliest days in the 1890s as the Willimantic State Normal School," said Eastern President Elsa Núñez. "Today, our Center for Community Engagement works closely with our faculty to ensure that the service that our students perform in local communities aligns with their academic programs. In providing thousands of hours a year of service to dozens of social agencies and nonprofits, Eastern students are demonstrating their social responsibility while learning valuable professional and organizational skills. To be recognized by President Obama as a university that exemplifies such service is something that everyone on our campus should be proud of."
"This is a tremendous honor for Eastern, its faculty, staff and students," said Robert Kennedy, president of the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education. "While students attend an institution of higher education, in many cases, to advance their career options, it is becoming increasingly important for students to have real-life, demonstrable skills in areas outside the classroom, as well."