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Community Engagement

Pacific students’ volunteerism, fundraising make major impact

Dec 16, 2013

University of the Pacific students last year logged more than 50,000 hours of community service, provided health care and legal assistance to more than 32,000 people in underserved communities, and raised more than $63,000 for charitable causes, according to the latest tallies from the university's three campuses.

The efforts provided an estimated $10 million in uncompensated dental care to underserved patients from San Francisco to San Diego; helped thousands of elderly people save on prescription drug costs; donated more than 1,000 new books to a San Joaquin County early literacy project; and benefited regional food banks, national cancer research programs, scholarships and more.

"These volunteer efforts not only benefit the community, they give our students learning opportunities and help them to develop a lifetime ethic of service," said Erin Rausch, director of the university's Center for Community Involvement. "The contributions that Pacific students make, year in and year out, have a deep impact on the daily life of our community."

Undergraduate contributions

Pacific undergraduate students reported performing 12,615 hours of community service during the 2012-13 academic year. Beneficiaries included Habitat for Humanity, the Stockton Shelter for the Homeless, Delta Blood Bank, YMCA of San Joaquin County, and more than a dozen other agencies and organizations.

The largely undergraduate Greek community, in a separate tally, reported 11,108 hours of service to the office of Housing and Greek Life. (Dual reporting to Greek Life and the Center for Community Involvement is not tracked, so the two cannot be totalled.)

Greek organizations at Pacific also reported raising more than $63,000 for philanthropic causes - or roughly $115 per Greek member. (Many other students and student organizations also raise funds for charitable causes, but only the Greek organizations aggregate and report this information.)

Clocking the most volunteer service hours per member was Gamma Alpha Omega, with an average of 34.2 hours per student. The biggest fundraiser was Pi Kappa Alpha, generating $25,010 overall.

About 16 percent of Pacific's 3,388 undergraduates belonged to one of the campus's 13 Greek organizations during the last academic year.

Greeks donated their time and money to such causes and organizations as education, women's issues, Shriners Hospital for Children Northern California, and the Second Harvest Food Bank of San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties.

"Community service and philanthropy are founding principle of Greek life at Pacific, and our fraternities and sororities demonstrate their commitment to giving back every year," said Torry Broulliard-Bruce, executive director of housing, residential and Greek life. "Their cumulative contributions during the 2012-13 academic year once more were impressive. We are so proud of them."

Health sciences and professional schools

Students at the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco, and the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Stockton also gave generously of their time and skills.

Law students provided much-needed legal assistance to 587 clients throughout Northern California, logging 1,297 hours of pro bono service.

Dental students provided oral health information and screenings for underserved groups at 43 free community health events throughout the Bay Area and as far away as San Diego and Reno. This included free screenings and follow-up care provided through Project Homeless Connect, a San Francisco-based nonprofit serving the homeless. All told, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry students logged an estimated 7,584 volunteer hours and provided $10 million in uncompensated services to adults and children throughout the region and state.

Students at the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences volunteered an estimated 30,000 hours to efforts ranging from early literacy to children's health:

• Speech-language pathology students collected and purchased more than 1,100 children's books for Pacific's annual Holiday Roar early literacy program for San Joaquin County children.

• Pharmacy students, working with faculty and preceptors, provided more than 100 free health care programs that offered medication therapy reviews, mental assessments, asthma care, and screenings for blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol and osteoporosis. The clinics served more than 3,600 patients and provided immunizations to 650 patients. Students also also served 6,521 elderly patients through free Medicare Part D clinics, helping participants save up to $1,149 each on annual prescription drug costs.

• Physical therapy students reached about 7,500 at-risk young people in the Stockton region in the past two years through Healthy Children, a project in which they visit after-school programs to provide K-12 students with information and activities that encourage healthful physical activity and good nutrition.

According to estimates of the dollar value of volunteer time developed by Independent Sector, an association of charitable nonprofits and foundations, the combined volunteer hours logged by students at Pacific's Center for Community Involvement, Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, and McGeorge School of Law - 51,496 hours -- are worth more than $1.2 million in California's economy.

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About University of the Pacific

Established in 1851 as the first university in California, University of the Pacific prepares students for professional and personal success through rigorous academics, small classes, and a supportive and engaging culture. Widely recognized as one of the most beautiful private university campuses in the West, the Stockton campus offers more than 80 undergraduate majors in arts and sciences, music, business, education, engineering and computer science, and pharmacy and health sciences. The university's distinctive Northern California footprint also includes the acclaimed Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco and the McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. For more information, visit www.pacific.edu.

Media contact:
Keith Michaud
209.946.3275 (Office)
209.470.3206 (Mobile)
kmichaud@pacific.edu

 

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