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Simmons Receives National Community Service Honor

BOSTON (October 25, 2006) — Simmons College is one of 100 universities across the nation named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll Program for the outstanding volunteer service contributions of its students to the community.

The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes institutions of higher education nationwide that encourage "meaningful, relevant, and exemplary" student community service efforts. The Simmons College Scott/Ross Center for Community Service, which facilitates community service for Simmons faculty, staff, and students, was featured in the General Community Service category.  

Simmons was among five Massachusetts colleges honored; it was the only university recognized in Boston.

"We're thrilled to receive national recognition for the community service work of our students," said Simmons College President Susan Scrimshaw. "Service to others strikes at the very core of Simmons's mission to educate people who share a commitment to the community and the determination to make a difference."

Selection for the President's Honor Roll program was determined by the level of student participation in service activities relative to the size of the school, and the level of efforts, innovativeness, and effectiveness of the service projects offered by the college.

In fiscal year 2005-2006, the Scott/Ross Center for Community Service engaged 1,200 undergraduate and graduate students in more than 40 programs and more than 34,000 hours of community service.

Among the programs the center helps facilitate are a long-term partnership with a nearby Boston elementary school that features an after-school program designed by Simmons to provide children a safe place to play and extra homework help; an annual semi-formal ball at the college for two nonprofit senior citizen residences; and a pen pal/mentor program that matches a Boston middle-school student with an adult for most of the academic school year. More than 175 Simmons faculty, staff and alumni participated in the pen pal program.

Additionally, Simmons was noted for its high percentage of federal work-study funding that is allocated for community service (nearly 30 percent). The federal government recommends that colleges allocate at least 7 percent of their federal work-study funding for community service.

Simmons College Trustee and alumna Emily Scott Pottruck funded the Scott/Ross Center for Community Service in 2000, in recognition of the college's longtime commitment to community service. The center serves the Greater Boston community by developing reciprocal partnerships with community organizations while enriching and expanding students' educational and co-curricular experiences.

The President's Honor Roll Program was established by the Corporation for National and Community Service, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, USA Freedom Corps, the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation, and Campus Compact.

Simmons College has a pioneering undergraduate college for women; renowned graduate programs for women and men in social work, health studies, library and information science, and liberal arts; and the nation's only MBA program designed for women.