Img: Magazine
Alvernia Magazine
Latest Edition
Contact us

Alvernia Day of Service

Date: 8/20/2010

Above: Bob Folwell, trails project manager for the Schuylkill River Heritage Area, explains what Alvernia volunteers will need to do to help keep trails open.


One day after arriving on Alvernia's campus, the entire incoming class participated in a Day of Service — performing community service along-side student leaders, faculty, and staff members at 16 different locations around the county.

Projects ranged from trail clean-up along the Schuylkill River and at the Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site to delivering Meals on Wheels to senior citizens through Berks Encore. Other organizations that Alvernia will partner with for the Day of Service include Opportunity House, the Reading Public Library, Mary’s Home, the American Red Cross, and the Cops ‘n Kids Reading Program.

Organizers hope that the Day of Service will help orient incoming students to the community that they will call home for the next four years while attending Alvernia University. “By introducing the students to service early on, hopefully many of them will continue to be engaged with the community on many different levels throughout their time here,” said Ginny Hand, Director of the Holleran Center for Community Engagement at Alvernia. At the Schuylkill River Trail, students cleared brush to make the trail more friendly to visiters. "Without volunteers, said Folwell, "we wouldn't even have a trail."

Alvernia also coordinates and participates in three other University-wide Days of Service throughout the academic year: St. Francis Day in October, Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January, and Earth Day in April.

  • History: Established as a private four-year liberal arts college in 1958, Alvernia celebrated its 50th year by being awarded university status in 2008.
  • Heritage: Founded by the Bernardine Sisters, a Catholic religious order, the university embraces the Franciscan core values of service, humility, collegiality, contemplation and peacemaking.
  • Motto: “To Learn, To Love, To Serve”
  • Campus: The main campus in Reading is 121 acres, with two satellite campuses in Philadelphia and Pottsville (Schuylkill County).
  • Location: Our residential campus is situated three miles from center-city Reading, in the scenic Blue Mountain area of Eastern Pennsylvania.
  • Enrollment: 3,000 students attend Alvernia including 1,500 traditional undergraduates, 600 continuing education students, and 780 graduate students. Over 77% of first-year students live on campus.
  • Faculty: Our professors are accomplished scholars, experts in their fields, and supportive mentors. The student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1. Most classes are 20 students or fewer.
  • Athletics: NCAA Division III, member of the Commonwealth Conference of the Middle Atlantic States Athletic Corporation and member of Eastern College Athletic Conference, 8 men’s and 10 women’s intercollegiate sports.