First Annual Celebration of Community Engagement Held at Andrews University

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First Annual Celebration of Community Engagement Held at Andrews University

Charles Stoddard, a banker, philanthropist, and founder of Grand Angels, speaks on the topic of service at the first annual Celebration of Community Engagement at Andrews University. Photo by Julia Viniczay, university communication student photographer

Andrews University continues to expand efforts to be a blessing to those beyond its campus. The first annual Celebration of Community Engagement took place this past fall in the university’s Buller Hall. The event began with a poster session, then moved into Newbold Auditorium for formal presentations.  

Christon Arthur, university provost, welcomed those present, saying, “Community engagement takes ‘random acts of kindness’ one step further. … Meaningful community engagement is sustained. We’re talking about planned, intentional, sustained engagement.”

President Andrea Luxton noted that on a university campus it is very easy to act as if we are an island. “We are not an island,” she said. “We want to be connected and part of what is beyond us. We have our tagline ‘World Changers Made Here’ because we want to make a difference in the local community and the world beyond.”

“I’ve been impressed with the work done by the university,” said Ted N.C. Wilson, president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, in a video message. He affirmed the university’s work — “especially your work to positively impact the lives of those in the community around Andrews University.” 

The program continued with musical selections and video presentations that highlighted more than a dozen university departments and clubs involved in community engagement projects led by professors and students. Projects ranged from music lessons for prisoners to working with students and staff in Benton Harbor, to hosting a 5k run to support mental health. The videos also featured groups who traveled internationally to work in locations such as Thailand, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Madagascar, Cuba, and Burkina Faso.

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