Each fall, as a part of new student orientation, we have about 350 students, faculty, and staff participate in service projects all over our community. We work with about 20 community partners including school and community gardens, food banks, and other agencies to support their work on issues related to food security in Western North Carolina. New students get a chance to learn more about this special place as they offer meaningful work to meet the needs identified by our partners.
At the beginning of each semester over 30 community partners from local agencies come to campus to talk with students about service opportunities with their organizations. Students sign up for specific programs and/or sign up on interest lists so that they can learn more about the issues and be contacted as opportunities for service arise during the year.
This student-produced, educational fundraiser includes discussions about issues, concerns, and solutions surrounding hunger in our community. It is a dinner with bread and wonderful soup donated from local restaurants that is served in handmade ceramic bowls (from WWC students and local artists). At the end of the evening, you will take home your bowl as a reminder of the daily struggles for food in our community. The proceeds from the admission charge are donated to a different local agency each year to support their work on issues of food security in Western North Carolina. Empty Bowls is held in November / December. Watch for information.
As part of our honoring the legacy of MLK JR. and his commitment to civic engagement, we plan this day of service each year for our new students who begin in January. We partner with community agencies to engage in work that meets immediate community needs.
This event honors the students who are graduating that have excelled and demonstrated a strong commitment to being engaged in service. About 10 students with exemplary service transcripts are invited to attend and are recognized for their achievements in service. Also, the students’ families are invited to attend. One student is selected to receive the Senior Service Award and this is announced at the Honors ceremony after this event. This event is held in May at the end of the spring semester. The winner of the Frederick Ohler Service Award for the 2012-2013 academic year was Beau Ohlgren.