About 1,100 members of the La Salle University community celebrated the spirit of the University’s founding by providing a Lasallian Day of Service on September 29, serving at sites throughout the Philadelphia area, the United States and around the world.
La Salle Volunteers community served at more than 30 sites in Philadelphia, as well as at more than 15 sites in Bucks, Chester, and Montgomery counties, Washington, D.C., New York, N.Y., St. Louis, Mo., Chicago, Ill., San Francisco, Calif., Boston, Mass., Camden, N.J., Ocean City, N.J., Palm Beach County, Fla., Tampa, Fla., and Yakima, Wash. La Salle students currently studying overseas will also be participated in the event.
Br. Michael McGinniss, F.S. C., President of La Salle University, said, “It is truly a blessing and a privilege to offer a Day of Service in the region and around the world as we celebrate our 150th anniversary. La Salle is a vibrant and continuously evolving learning community with a bright future. The theme of our sesquicentennial celebration is ‘Living the Promise’ – it is our way of saying that while La Salle has grown and adapted to meet the circumstances and needs of the times, we have been faithful to our mission.”
“I am particularly proud of the painting and landscaping work that 25 Explorers performed at La Salle Academy, an independent school founded by the Christian Brothers and the Sisters of St. Joseph for children in grades 3 through 8 who face significant financial, academic, and social obstacles to their education,” said McGinniss. “This location has a special connection to our University, as it is located at St. Michael’s Parish, where La Salle College was founded in 1863.
Paul Burgoyne, President of La Salle’s Alumni Association who volunteered at four sites in the Philadelphia region, said, “It was wonderful to participate in the Lasallian Day of Service with so many others. There were more than 1,100 of us ‘Living the Promise’ all over the country. Lasallians give incalculable hours to service in their communities as part of the fabric of their lives. The extraordinary thing was that we were all doing it simultaneously, drawing strength from each other and honoring our heritage.”
Sites included Habitat for Humanity projects, homeless shelters, hospices, community centers, food banks, schools for children with special needs, elementary schools, and churches.
In recent years, La Salle students have contributed more than 50,000 hours of service annually to the local community. “The Lasallian Day of Service provided an opportunity to highlight what La Salle students do on a regular basis and enable the La Salle community to share that gift in a different way. It’s a chance to get the whole community involved,” said Br. Robert Kinzler, F.S.C., Director of University Ministry and Service at La Salle.
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has selected La Salle for its Community Engagement Classification, one of only 311 institutions to earn this prestigious recognition.
The Day of Service is a major part of the La Salle’s 150th anniversary celebration, signature event that builds on the spirit of service to the community that has been present since its inception
It was one of several special events for the University’s yearlong sesquicentennial celebration. At Opening Convocation on Aug. 23, Mayor of Philadelphia Michael Nutter presented a proclamation recognizing La Salle and its anniversary.
Other highlights include Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., accepting an honorary degree during Honors Convocation on Oct. 7. At the Alumni Association Awards Dinner on Nov. 16, the University will award its Signum Fidei Medal to Catholic Relief Services (CRS) for its work in advancing humanitarian principles. Accepting the award will be Joan Rosenhauer, Executive Vice President for CRS’ United States efforts.
On March 21, 2013, during La Salle’s Heritage Week celebration, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin will present “Civil War and Philadelphia.” La Salle has also commissioned book on the history of the University, written by John Rossi, Ph.D., emeritus professor of history and a 1958 La Salle graduate.