MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- On Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010, Walden University hosted its fifth annual Global Day of Service. Thousands of students, alumni, faculty, staff, family and friends gathered in more than 455 cities around the world to demonstrate the international impact that social change agents can make in just 24 hours.
Volunteers from the Walden community participated in more than 90 service projects around the world—from Baltimore to Los Angeles, Minneapolis to Atlanta, Mexico to Germany, Uganda to South Korea, and scores of cities in between. Service projects included beautifying and restoring beaches, rivers, schools, churches and community centers; planting vegetable gardens and helping feed hungry communities; raising awareness of health and education issues; supporting U.S. troops; and many more.
"Walden University does more than encourage positive social change, we actually put it into practice," said Jonathan A. Kaplan, president of Walden University. "The Walden community's overwhelming response to volunteering is a true testament to our mission and vision, especially as we mark 40 years of effecting positive social change."
Members of the Walden community already give generously of their time and abilities as part of their personal ongoing volunteer efforts; in particular, Walden alumni have a 67 percent average rate of volunteerism, compared to the national average of 50 percent among college graduates. The Global Day of Service, however, marks one day a year when the entire Walden community can come together to make a greater difference and demonstrate how positive social change can impact the world.
Thanks to the participation of its community members, Walden has exceeded its goal of completing 400,000 volunteer service hours by the end of 2010. The 400,000 hours translate into more than $8.3 million of in-kind service, according to the 2009 estimate for the value of a volunteer hour provided by Independent Sector, a nonpartisan coalition for the nonprofit and philanthropic community. The hours were tracked using the Walden Service Network, an online resource for the Walden community to search for volunteer opportunities, recruit volunteers and promote community service events where they live and work.
"Walden's commitment to social change definitely sets the university apart from others and was one of the main reasons why I chose to pursue my doctorate at the online university. I feel very fortunate to be able to effect positive social change in my hometown," said Margaret Williams, a Global Day of Service project leader in Midland, Texas, and Ed.D. student with a specialization in Higher Education Adult Learning in Walden's Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership.
For more information about Walden's ongoing commitment to social change, including Volunteerism: Encouraging Individuals to Effect Societal Change, the upcoming sixth annual Social Change Conference on Oct. 27, 2010, visit www.WaldenU.edu/socialchange.
About Walden University
For 40 years, Walden University has supported working professionals in achieving their academic goals and making a greater impact in their professions and their communities. Today, more than 42,500 students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries are pursuing their bachelor's, master's or doctoral degrees at Walden. The university provides students with an engaging educational experience that connects them with expert faculty and peers around the world. Walden is the flagship online university in the Laureate International Universities network—a global network of more than 50 online and campus-based universities in 24 countries.
Walden offers more than 45 degree programs with more than 195 specializations and concentrations. Areas of study include health sciences, counseling, human services, management, psychology, education, public health, nursing, public administration, technology and engineering. For more information, visit www.WaldenU.edu. Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, www.ncahlc.org.
SOURCE Walden University