It is always a priority for us at Illinois to be improving the world around us whether it is through providing groundbreaking innovations to people across the globe or serving the members of our local community. The time is approaching when both the campus and the community focus specifically on the needs in Champaign-Urbana.
April 12-18 is National Volunteer Week, and it is with excitement that I look forward to our involvement. Illinois will once again kick off the week with the Community & Campus Day of Service on April 11. To register, either individually or as a group, please visit the website.
For the third consecutive year, we are partnering with the Eastern Illinois Foodbank to hold a food packaging project to serve local families. Our 2015 goal is 148,000 meals (1,000 for each year of public engagement since the university was founded in 1867), and I have no doubt that we can achieve this. Last year 1,200 volunteers packaged a goal-surpassing 147,162 meals. At Illinois, we boast many numbers. This is one that makes me especially proud.
There will also be other ways to participate. The Day of Service website will be updated regularly with additional opportunities as they become available. There will also be a talk on food insecurity the day before. If there is a volunteer project you are organizing for National Volunteer Week, please fill out this form, and it will be added to the website.
The Day of Service presents a unique opportunity to work alongside a diverse set of people. Faculty members could join with community members. Undergraduates could team up with staff members. Graduate students could be paired with administrators. It provides a space to develop relationships with people you may not see on a daily basis.
Volunteers will also have the experience of seeing tangible results. It is so satisfying to see the packaged food stack up throughout the morning. And it is even more satisfying to think about the impact it will have on the families who receive them.
For more than 148 years, the community has provided a wonderful home to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and our success would not be possible without their support. We now have an invitation to partner together to serve those who need it most.
Around the Campus
The Office of Public Engagement is currently working to develop a website to celebrate Illinois’ Sesquicentennial, and they are seeking campus input. As part of the project, they are creating a timeline of important events and achievements in the university’s history. To submit events or achievements from your unit, please fill out this form.
This spring, Illinois will be hosting “Many Voices: A Campus Conversation on Diversity,” a series of college events, campus-wide conversations and speakers. See the full list of events here.
Illinois has been named one of “17 Amazing Green College Campuses,” by Mother Nature Network. The article mentions the campus commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050, the nine LEED-certified campus buildings and the new solar farm, which will make Illinois one of the top 10 solar campuses in the U.S. See the full article here.