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Record Turnout for Day of Service

Junior Eugene Bernabe and Sophomore Tina Nguyen landscaping the Campus Life MallEarly on a Saturday morning, Brenda Guzman, a junior biology major, found herself enjoying the early morning sun and cool breeze as she and fellow Council of Club officers painted flower pots for assisted living homes.

“I really liked how we all worked together and got to know a little bit about each other, Guzman said. “I am a COC officer and I got to spend time with the other officers. It was a bonding experience.”

The COC officers were joined by about 90 other students, faculty, staff and alumni on Feb. 15 for the 10th annual President’s Day of Service. Marking a decade, the Day of Service hit another milestone – setting a record for attendance and participation.

Begun in 2004 as part of the inauguration celebration 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 education leaders of faith and character. The day began with breakfast in Crooker Center with Ivany, who offered inspiration to the volunteers and visited each project to lend a hand.

Pictured L to R: Kaitlynn Henson, Alyssa Guerra, Coach Kallie Noble and Emily ErwinIn addition to painting flower pots, volunteers also painted theStudent Activities ‘fish bowl’ and paint room in Crooker Center, touched up the mural in Crooker Center, landscaped areas in the Campus Life Mall and Sullivan hall, cleaned benches and handrails around campus, created blankets for Project Linus, made rosaries for the homebound and cards for our Facilities staff.

Junior communications major, Eugene Bernabe, volunteered his 

time landscaping and was touched by how many people chose to help.“It was great to see so many different people from different backgrounds, majors and ethnicities come together to help out,” Bernabe said. “It is tough to get up early on a Saturday morning, but for something like this, it is worth it.”

Many commented on how, after our recent cold spell, being able to enjoy the warm weather made volunteering that much more fulfilling.

Amanda Villanueva, assistant director of student activities, said that, while this year’s turnout was great, there is always room to grow.

“Overall, the students were really involved, energetic and happy to be here. I think we had a great turnout, and next year I think the students look forward to doing it again.”