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Georgian Court Invests Nearly 121,000 Community Service Hours

Male students smiling on back of truck doing community service.

Georgian Court University students, faculty, and staff last year contributed nearly 121,000 volunteer service hours to help individuals, community organizations, and area nonprofit agencies.

That is the most recent figure reported by GCU’s Office of Mission Integration, which tracks service activities performed by members of the GCU community. The new figure, up more than 27 percent from 2017 when the campus reported 94,745 service hours, mirrors the university’s dedication to the Mercy core value of service.

“It really demonstrates the commitment of the overall campus,” says Evelyn Quinn, M.S.W., M.Ed., ’74, GCU vice president for mission integration. “We are invested. We talk a lot about our values, but this indicates that we live what we say.”

The value of serving others is priceless, but with $24.69/hour as the national value of volunteer time, the GCU community effectively donated more than $2.4 million in service hours. A few of the organizations that benefited include:

  • Nueva Vida clinic, Nicaragua
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore
  • Society of St. Vincent de Paul
  • Area food pantries
  • Sunrise Detox Center
  • Lakewood Chamber of Commerce
  • Monmouth–Ocean Development Council
  • Area school districts

Community Service Takes Many Forms

GCU was founded by the Sisters of Mercy, whose charism also requires them to take a vow of service. Georgian Court, which also embraces the five Mercy core values of service, compassion, respect, integrity, and justice, encourages volunteerism through its general education curriculum, student organizations, campus outreach, and in employees’ personal lives.

“We are proud to know that we have contributed to our community—locally and globally—in ways that speak the truth of Mercy,” says Ms. Quinn.

Service hours 2018 Vincent's Legacy Web Sanchez
Members of the GCU men’s soccer team, including Arturo Sanchez (far right), volunteered for Vincent’s Legacy.

Earlier this year, the GCU Lions won the NCAA’s Helper Helper community service competition. It is the second year in a row that GCU athletes were involved with more than 20 organizations and logged more service hours than any other Division II organization in the country. Throughout the year, GCU student-athletes invested upward of 13,000 service hours to help others.

Some of those hours were donated to Vincent’s Legacy, a furniture ministry sponsored by the Society of St. Vincent DePaul in nearby Belmar, New Jersey. Over the course of 10 Saturdays, the GCU men’s soccer team picked up, moved, and delivered gently used beds, dressers, sofas, tables, housewares, and other items to more than 50 area families.

For GCU student-athlete Arturo Sanchez, serving Vincent’s Legacy was unforgettable.

“It makes you realize what you have and that as you grow and extend your arms toward others, you are giving them the ability to grow with you,” he says. “You realize the power you have to make an impact on people’s lives.”

Service to Others Through Passion, Purpose

GCU graduate student Kelly Newcombe spent several weeks living and working in a poor Costa Rican village. The aspiring educator, who also volunteered there in 2014, provided recreation and fitness services and assisted with classroom teaching.

And Jo Ann Cummings, Ph.D., an advanced practice pediatric nurse and GCU assistant professor of nursing, is a member of the all-volunteer medical team at Parker Family Health Center in Red Bank, New Jersey. The free clinic serves about 10,000 uninsured people each year, including many from families living on the margins of society.

“The Parker Family Health setting really allows us to connect with patients in a way that they feel the care and compassion,” she says. “We treat them with dignity. Wherever I can make a difference and help out, I will.”

Aerial view of GCU.

About Georgian Court University

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. GCU is a comprehensive, coeducational university with a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women. As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 2,100 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 15 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2020, GCU was named a Best Value College by and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. High student retention and graduation rates also make GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility on U.S. News & World Reports rankings. The main campus is located in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students at other locations, such as GCU at BrookdaleGCU at Rowan College of South Jersey–Cumberland Campus, and through multiple online certificate and degree programs.

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