STARKVILLE, Miss.--Mississippi State is among seven Southeastern Conference universities being recognized nationally for community service activities.
MSU is a selection for the 2012 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction.
Other "with distinction" SEC institutions include Auburn, Louisiana State and Vanderbilt universities, and the universities of Alabama, Missouri and South Carolina.
Only slightly more than 100 higher education institutions made the list. MSU is the lone Magnolia State inclusion.
The annual challenge is sponsored by the federal Corporation for National and Community Service to recognize "colleges and universities for exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs."
Winners are selected on the basis of the scope and innovation of their projects, percentage of students participating, incentives for service, and extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses, among other criteria.
Specifically, the award is recognition of efforts by MSU's Office of Student Leadership and Community Engagement, a unit of the Division of Student Affairs. Cade Smith, assistant dean of students, directs the office.
"We are deeply gratified to receive this honor," Smith said. "It represents the very hard work of more than 1,400 student, faculty and staff volunteers who devoted countless hours to some 125 projects over the past year.
"We also are very appreciative of President Mark Keenum, Provost Jerry Gilbert, Student Affairs Vice President Bill Kibler, and other key administrators for their support and encouragement of, as well as participation in, our activities," he added.
Smith said some specific MSU service and engagement activities include:
--LeaderState, a weeklong leadership immersion held on campus for rising high school seniors;
--Day One Leadership Community, a freshman co-residential program focusing on shared academic and service experiences, and taught by faculty and special guest speakers;
--G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery Leadership Program, a two-year program to help juniors and seniors exhibiting high academic, leadership and character traits enhance their communication, analytical and management skills, among others; and
--Maroon Volunteer Center, a student-driven initiative that encourages and supports community involvement and service.