The Holleran Center for Community and Global Engagement was established by Dr. Thomas Flynn in 2006, as a vision of Alvernia's future and how the students' coursework and co-curriculum should embrace and reflect the mission and values of the University.

In 2008, Alvernia received a generous gift from T. Jerome and Carolyn Holleran, a local Berks County couple with a passion for community service and a personal record of meaningful community engagement. The Hollerans' gift of $3 million includes working capital to enhance the work of the Center in the Reading community as well as provisions to permanently endow it.

Community service has its roots deeply embedded in Alvernia's foundation and is central to the mission of our Catholic, Franciscan institution. Service provides students the opportunity to use their gifts and talents to help those in need and to support local nonprofit organizations.

The Holleran Mission

Rooted in the Franciscan identity of Alvernia University and its mission as a teaching and learning institution, the Holleran Center for Community and Global Engagement identifies, cultivates and sustains strategic partnerships to strengthen both campus and community life. By making these community partnerships an essential part of the curriculum, the Holleran Center strives to foster the University mission and improve the quality of life in our community and to develop in its students a lifelong commitment to service as engaged citizens.

The Holleran Vision

To integrate Alvernia's curriculum and co-curricular activities with the external community the Holleran Center will:

  • Initiate strategic partnerships that enhance Alvernia's mission, leverage campus and community expertise, address community needs and produce mutually beneficial results;
  • Serve as the central resource for students, faculty, and staff to engage in community based projects and as a catalyst for expanding community based learning of all types, including internships, field experiences, and service-learning projects;
  • Serve as the central point of access for the community to campus resources and serve as an incubator for projects to address community needs;
  • Establish Alvernia University as a leader in community based learning and civic engagement- locally, regionally and eventually nationally
In This Section

Holleran Center for Community and Global Engagement

Student volunteer at Millmont Elementary
Community Service
All Alvernia students must perform 40 hours of community service before being certified for graduation.  Transfer students community service hours are based on remaining Alvernia credits required; transfer students should consult with the Registrar of the Holleran Center for their requirements.
Student Studying in Berardine Hall Lounge
Real World Learning Award
These competitive awards support student participation in:

•Study Away Experiences
•Non-domestic Service Learning or Alternative Breaks
•Undergraduate research
Student volunteer at Millmont Elementary
Service Learning
Service to others is deeply embedded in Alvernia University’s Franciscan heritage and remains an important part of our educational mission today. Our goal is to develop not just educated citizens, but engaged citizens actively involved in work to better their communities and the larger world.
Study Abroad to China 2019
Study Abroad
Study Abroad presents students with the opportunity to engage in new cultures while studying abroad, enroll in courses that provide a new understanding and leave the world in which they are familiar.
Bog Turtle Creek Farm downtown Reading
Sustainability Initiatives
•Bog Turtle Creek Farm is a program designed to make healthy, fresh produce available to families in the City of Reading, including those who utilize government programs such as WIC and SNAP to purchase their food. Alvernia Students manage the farm and the produce that is sold each Friday during the Summer at the Penn Street Market. This is the only Farmer's Market in the Berks County area that currently accepts SNAP.

•Environmental Education Programs that help facilitate hands-on learning for children of all ages, with sustainability events such as the Earth Day Festival and EcoFun Day.

Outreach Programs

The Bernardine Hall lounge is a casual study spot.
Reading Youth Initiative
Promoting continued education, mentoring & support for healthy choices in children who live in the South Reading area.
Reading Collegiate Scholars Program
Increasing high school graduation & college attendance rates in Reading, while ensuring the successes of those Reading students attending Alvernia.
Student volunteer reading at Millmont Elementary
Foster Grandparent Program
Providing valuable aid to youth with special and exceptional needs, this program provides a way for volunteers aged 55+ to stay active by serving the youth in their communities. 
Upcoming Days of Service
To view and sign up for upcoming service opportunities please visit Get Connected.
Contact Information
The Holleran Center is located on Alvernia's main campus at Bornemann Building, 917 Bornemann Road, Reading PA 19607.

Questions? Please contact us at 610-790-1925 or

Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.