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Alvernia students turn a “day off” into a “day on”

Date: 1/11/2011


Alvernia students turn a “day off” into a “day on”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'" On Monday, January 17, students will return to campus early to help answer King’s question.

Approximately 190 students, faculty, trustees, staff, and alumni will be bussed to at least 15 different locations around the county to perform a variety of service activities including rehabilitating a house for a family in need, organizing donations received during the holiday season, and providing programming for different clients of non-profit organizations.

The MLK Day of Service is part of “United We Serve,” the President’s national call to service initiative, asking Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. 2011 will mark the 25th anniversary of the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday.

Alvernia University received a grant from Pennsylvania Campus Compact, in partnership with the Corporation for National & Community Service and North Carolina Campus Compact to support Martin Luther King Day events and service activities. The University was one of ten state campuses to receive such a grant.

Service site locations will include:

• Animal Rescue League of Berks County
• Berks Encore - Mifflin Center
• Berks Family Residential Center
• Children’s Home of Reading
• Cops N Kids
• Easter Seals of Eastern Pennsylvania
• Goggleworks Center for the Arts (at the Berkshire Mall)
• Habitat for Humanity
• Liberty Firefighter’s Museum
• Lifeline of Berks County
• Olivet Boys & Girls Club (two locations)
• Opportunity House
• Reading Community Players
• Shady Hollow Assisted Riding
• St. Joseph’s Parish
• St. Joseph’s Villa

Though the service day officially takes place on Monday, festivities begin when participating students return to campus early on Sunday, Jan 16.


Sunday, Jan. 16

12:00-6:00 p.m. - Residence Halls open for early return to campus
7:00-8:00 p.m. - Mass in Sacred Heart Convent
8:00 p.m. - Pizza party and movie in the Student Center

Monday, Jan. 17

8:45-9:15 a.m. - Light Breakfast and Registration
9:15-9:30 a.m. - Welcome and MLK Legacy
9:30-10:00 a.m. - Travel to worksites
10:00-1:30 p.m. - Service with community agencies; boxed lunches provided
1:30-2:00 p.m. - Return to Alvernia
2:00-3:00 p.m. - Reflection and wrap-up

Tuesday, Jan. 18

3:30-4:30 p.m. - Martin Luther King Celebration
4:30-6:30 p.m. - Celebratory Southern-style dinner for all MLK Day participants

Alvernia’s MLK Day of Service is sponsored by the Office of Campus Ministry, the Holleran Center for Community Engagement and the Office of Multi-Cultural Initiatives.

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  • 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.