MSU earns prestigious spot as finalist on president’s community service honor roll

Contact: James Carskadon

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University is one of four universities nationwide recognized as a finalist in the recently announced 2015 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in the Economic Opportunity category.

MSU is among 20 institutions of higher learning in the country and the only school in Mississippi named as a finalist in any of the honor roll’s four categories. MSU was named to the honor roll in all of the four possible categories (General Community Service, Interfaith Service, Education and Economic Opportunity).

“This recognition is tangible evidence of our university’s commitment to community engagement,” Director of Student Leadership and Community Engagement Cade Smith said. “It shows service is relevant in the lives of students, in the community, across the state and around the globe.”

The Corporation for National & Community Service has administered the honor roll since 2006, recognizing institutions of higher education that support community service programs and effective community partnerships. The 2015 honor roll marks MSU’s sixth consecutive year of recognition in the national awards.

The Economic Opportunity category in which MSU was named a finalist recognizes institutions with service programs that build economic independence, increase family stability and create sustainable and resilient communities, according to the CNCS. Having been named a finalist in the General Community Service category in 2013, the 2015 designation marks MSU’s second time to be recognized as a finalist on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

In the 2015 honor roll, MSU was one of two Mississippi universities named to the General Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction. MSU was the only school in the state named to the honor roll in the Interfaith Service category. 

Meggan Franks, assistant director of student leadership and community engagement, said students at MSU embrace service being a part of the land-grant university’s mission. The Maroon Volunteer Center, which Franks oversees, engages approximately 6,000 students every year with 161 community partners.

“We have a lot of great programs at MSU focused on bettering our community and our state,” Franks said.

Mississippi State’s 2015 honor roll application highlighted roughly a dozen university programs, many of which improved economic opportunity for recipients by providing benefits such as expertise, life skills, housing and food security. 

For more information on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, visit

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