2009 Presidential Award
General Community Service
Lee University’s dedication to social service is a mandatory part of the curriculum. The university was founded on the ideals of social justice, benevolence, and civic virtue.
Students completed 66,200 volunteer hours in community service during this past year. Many of them worked through Lee University’s Crossover program, a student-led food reclamation and distribution program which partners with area grocers and retailers to feed the disadvantaged in the community. They distributed over 192,000 pounds of food to those in need. Crossover also provided tutoring, job-preparation training, and agency referrals. Through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, business students assisted 487 mid- to low-income individuals and families with their tax returns, securing refunds totaling over $480,000. Another pioneering program, Lee University Developmental Inclusion Classroom (LUDIC), enabled university students to partner with local school districts to serve 23 young area students with autism-spectrum disorders. Last year, 160 Lee students served 4,182 hours at LUDIC, assisting with activities and services such as an autism camp, educational planning, and family support services.
Lee University’s commitment to service involves every single one of its students, who must complete two service-embedded courses and 80 hours of service-learning as a graduation requirement. After graduation, students’ volunteerism continues. Last year 71 percent of graduates signed the Lee University Graduation Service Pledge, indicating their understanding of its importance and affirming their commitment to the ideals of the University’s service program as they move forward as global citizens.