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St. Bonaventure University was selected with more than 200 colleges and universities to participate in a national challenge issued by President Barack Obama to motivate institutions of higher education to foster interfaith cooperation through service.
The university also received a certificate and letter from President Obama for participating in the program.
The President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge, launched by the White House, invited institutions of higher education to commit to a year of interfaith cooperation and community service programming.
Sr. Suzanne Kush, C.S.S.F., director of the Franciscan Center for Social Concern, serves as the lead coordinator for the challenge at St. Bonaventure. She has connected with student leaders and other campus partners to share information about new and existing interfaith service opportunities. Kush is also responsible for coordinating the documentation of the university’s engagement.
Kush said that although the challenge began three years ago, the project will continue each academic year at St. Bonaventure.
“The challenge is looking for what types of interfaith initiatives we have in our service projects and how we interface with the larger community,” Kush said. “The challenge also looks to see how students have gained an appreciation of people who are of different traditions.”
Kush said the campus community can help St. Bonaventure meet the requirements for the service challenge by encouraging other students to take advantage of service opportunities and collaborating with other divisions or departments to expand existing programs.
A webpage on my.sbu.edu will soon be available for faculty, staff and students to submit details about their involvement in service and interfaith activities.
If members of the Bonaventure community are sponsoring an education piece or service experience during the upcoming year, Sr. Suzanne asks that people document it — number of people involved, number of people served and a narrative — and share that information with her at firstname.lastname@example.org or (716) 375-2358.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. We are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. Our students are becoming extraordinary.
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