University at Buffalo Named to Presidential Honor Roll for Community Service

By Jessica Biegaj

Release Date: February 18, 2009

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Helping with projects like homes for Habitat for Humanity has earned UB a spot on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Corporation for National and Community Service has named the University at Buffalo to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to America's communities.

Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Honorees for the award were chosen based on factors including scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

UB offers several programs and projects in the area of community service, including free tax preparation by accounting students at the UB School of Management. Approximately 400 individual tax returns were filed in 2008, bringing nearly $235,000 in savings to residents of the local community. The Affordable Housing Clinic through the UB Law School partners with developers, lenders and government officials to create housing for elderly, disabled and homeless people. Since its inception, the clinic has produced approximately 2,000 new or rehabilitated housing units in Western New York, leveraging more than $185 million in private equity and loan money. In addition, UB School of Architecture and Planning students have assisted with 41 local Habitat for Humanity homes since 1990.

The UB/Buffalo Public Schools Partnership was also highlighted in the honor roll award for its efforts to increase the number of Buffalo students ready for and interested in college through an interdisciplinary research-based approach in the areas of capacity building; research and evaluation; academic acceleration, and pre-K through 16 education programs.

"The University at Buffalo has a rich and proud tradition of research, education, and service," said UB President John B. Simpson. "We're honored to receive this extraordinary recognition, and as we continue to become even more deeply engaged in our communities -- from our growing presence in downtown Buffalo to our expanded activity in the region and beyond -- we're confident that impact will continue to grow."

In all, the Corporation for National and Community Service honored six schools with Presidential awards. In addition, 83 were named as Honor Roll with Distinction members and 546 schools as Honor Roll members. In total, 635 schools were recognized. A full list is available at

The Honor Roll is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is presented during the annual conference of the American Council on Education.

Recent studies have underlined the importance of service-learning and volunteering to college students. In 2006, 2.8 million college students gave more than 297 million hours of volunteer service, according to the corporation's Volunteering in America 2007 study. Expanding campus incentives for service is part of a larger initiative to spur higher levels of volunteering by America's college students. The corporation is working with a coalition of federal agencies, higher education and student associations, and nonprofit organizations to achieve this goal.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. It administers Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America, a program that supports service-learning in schools, institutions of higher education and community-based organizations. For more information, go to

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system that is its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.