Presidentís Day of Service Volunteers Beautify Campus
On a cool Saturday morning, Senior English major Anthony Medina woke up early along with fellow students to help re-paint the 24-hour Student Lounge in the Moran Center. With experience painting with his father, who is in construction, Medina led the volunteers in transforming the neon purple and orange walls into a more neutral space using just a few gallons of paint.
“We did a really good job dividing up the work,” he said. “We had some people with paintbrushes, and some people with rollers. It got done so much faster with all the people.”
Medina was one of about 70 students, faculty, staff and alumni who participated in the 8th Annual President’s Day of Service on Feb. 25, working on projects to support the campus and the community.
Graduate Fellow Zain Hussain, who organized the event sponsored by the Campus Programming Committee, said the Day of Service was designed to bring together the UST community and provide an opportunity to give back to the campus.
“The projects we do help to beautify the campus,” Hussain said. “Everybody benefits because of the community we foster, and St. Thomas feels like a family.”
Begun in 2004 with the inauguration of Dr. Robert Ivany as University President, the President’s Day of Service is a tradition that gives the campus community an opportunity to act on the St. Thomas mission of educating leaders of faith and character. The day began with breakfast in Crooker Center with Dr. Ivany, who offered inspiration to the volunteers and visited each project to lend a hand.
In addition to painting the student lounge, volunteers also refurbished five picnic tables, helping to sand, stain and paint the wood benches on the Crooker Patio.
Hussain said the participants who worked on it felt a sense of satisfaction. “When they walk by, they look at the benches and they get a feeling of having really contributed.”
Participants worked in small groups on projects such making fleece blankets for Project Linus, which provides blankets for area fire departments to give to children, and painting flower pots for assisted living homes.
Medina said it felt good to complete the project in the student lounge.
“It’s something that I really enjoyed doing,” he said. “Sometimes when I do community service, I don’t feel like I made a huge difference. When you step back and see a wall painted, you know that you accomplished something, and it made a huge difference.’
Hussain said there is always room to have more people involved in the Day of Service.
“Next year, we would love to have even more participants, because we have a number of projects that can still be done on campus,” he said.