The University of California, San Diego’s commitment to community service has been recognized by the Washington Monthly as the nation’s top college in rankings measuring “what colleges are doing for the country” for the second consecutive year. UC San Diego is lauded in the publication’s September 2011 issue for promoting research, service and social mobility.
“It’s an honor for UC San Diego to be recognized again for our tradition of service to the community and the nation,” said Chancellor Marye Anne Fox. “We are rightfully proud that the spirit of civic engagement and the principle of ‘giving back’ serve as the foundation of our greatest achievements.”
The editors noted “Every year the Washington Monthly devotes an entire issue to assessing America’s colleges and universities. We do this because we believe they are key to the country’s greatness.”
Former President Bill Clinton reaches down to shake hands with students during the Clinton Global Initiative University conference at UC San Diego. Photos by Erik Jepsen
UC San Diego holds the top spot in the magazine’s 2011 rankings, followed by UC Los Angeles and UC Berkeley. According to the Washington Monthly College Rankings, six of the eight campuses in the UC system land among their best-ranked universities, a testament to the institutions that combine world-class research and access for low-income students.
UC San Diego is often acknowledged for its public service by rankings organizations and public officials, including U.S. presidents. In April, the campus was the host university for the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) meetings. Community service is at the core of the mission of the conference. President Clinton said he chose UC San Diego for its ongoing and consistent dedication to community service and mentioned the Washington Monthly rankings in various appearances on campus.
Washington Monthly praised UC San Diego for the number of alumni who have participated in the Peace Corps. This year, UC San Diego jumped eight spots to 14th on the annual list of “Peace Corps Top Colleges and Universities” with a total of 678 alumni who have served as volunteers in the program.
In addition to the Washington Monthly ranking, the university has also been named for two consecutive years to President Obama’s Community Service Honor Roll with distinction.
A student volunteer works on landscaping at the San Diego Food Bank.
“Giving back” is a philosophy embraced by Chancellor Fox. Last year, during the university’s 50th Anniversary milestone celebration, she launched Volunteer50: The Chancellor’s Call to Service. The initiative encouraged the entire campus community, including students, faculty, staff, alumni and university friends, to perform 50 hours of volunteer service during the 2010-2011 academic year. The goal of at least 50,000 hours set for the group was exceeded—Volunteer50 ended the academic year with more than 60,000 hours logged as of June 30, 2011.
UC San Diego has more than 568 student organizations, with a total of 18,528 students engaged in a form of community service. “Our service programs continue to grow significantly over the years, a sign our students increasingly want to make a difference in the community,” said Emily Marx, director of UC San Diego’s Center for Student Involvement.
To view the Washington Monthly College Rankings, go to http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/college_guide/rankings_2011/national_university_rank.php