Print this page   Close this window

Southern University System

Southern Bulletin

SUNO receives civic engagement award - 8/19/2013 -

Southern University New Orleans is one of five colleges and universities chosen this year from more than 100 nominations to share in the 2013 Higher Education Civic Engagement Awards presented by The Washington Center and the New York Life Foundation.

Recipients were chosen based upon their leadership and innovation in civic engagement. SUNO will be presented with the award during The Washington Center's annual awards luncheon in Washington, D.C. at the National Press Club on Oct. 7, 2013.

"SUNO's students and alumni have a long, rich history of civic engagement and community service. Several of these activities have garnered local recognition. Being recognized nationally for our efforts marks a great accomplishment, yet raises the bar even higher for the SUNO community to continue its leadership role in this arena," said Victor Ukpolo, SUNO's chancellor. "We thank both the Washington Center and the New York Life Foundation for this wonderful honor."

The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, in partnership with the New York Life Foundation, established this award to celebrate institutions in the higher education community that are reaching beyond their own campuses to achieve sustainable civic impacts. The award aims to highlight, in particular, innovation and leadership in forging partnerships beyond campus to define and address issues of public concern, whether at the local, regional or international level.

"The New York Life Foundation is proud to partner with The Washington Center to honor Southern University at New Orleans for recognizing that service learning should be part of their curriculum," said Chris Park, president of the New York Life Foundation. "Students learn the practical applications of their studies and become contributing community members in the process."

SUNO establishes service as a core value in the institution's mission of serving the educational and cultural needs of the greater New Orleans metropolitan area. As a part of its broad commitment to teaching resiliency, SUNO has partnered with law enforcement officials and community organizations to promote violence awareness, redoubling its efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Having made service learning a requirement in 1991, SUNO is a leader not only in educating its students, but also in engaging members of the community in making good and productive choices.

"Southern University at New Orleans is a shining example of how universities are taking the traditional curriculum model and incorporating initiatives that teach self-awareness, community engagement and
life-long leadership skills," said Mike Smith, president of The Washington Center. "SUNO is a true leader within the academic community and we congratulate them on this honor."

This year's award committee was chaired by Geri Mannion of Carnegie Corporation and included Doug Wood of the Forbes Foundation, Robert Hackett of the Bonner Foundation, Heather Smith of Rock the Vote and Peter Levine of CIRCLE at Tufts University.

The other academic institutions receiving the 2013 Civic Engagement Award include The Citadel, California State University at Monterey Bay, Portland State University, and Syracuse University.

Inspired by New York Life's tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided more than $155 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. To learn more, please visit the Foundationís Web site at