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October 1, 1999


Baltimore -- Described as "the prototype for urban education in the 21st century," the Shriver Center at UMBC has been recognized for leadership in the field of student character development by The Templeton Guide: Colleges that Encourage Character Development.

Designed for students, parents and educators who believe that character matters, the Templeton Guide contains profiles of 405 exemplary college programs in 10 categories. The categories include First-Year Programs, Academic Honesty Programs; Faculty and Curriculum Programs; Volunteer Service Programs; Substance-Abuse Prevention Programs; Student Leadership Programs; Spiritual Growth Programs; Civic Education Programs; Character and Sexuality Programs; and Senior-Year Programs.

The Shriver Center is profiled with 60 colleges and universities in the Volunteer Service Programs category. Named in honor of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and 9Sargent Shriver, the Shriver Center strives to connect the work of the university with the needs of the community, mobilizing the resources of higher education to create solutions to urgent social problems.

Now in the midst of its fifth anniversary year, the center's programs focus on social care, service learning and professional practice - ranging from internship and service learning placements for college students to service delivery programs that effectively address the challenges of mental retardation, delinquency, school dropout and joblessness.

"The Shriver Center's strong commitment to character development and the strength of its program make it a model for colleges and universities nationwide," says Arthur J. Schwartz, director of Character Development Programs at the John Templeton Foundation.

"This is a great honor for us to be selected for a publication that specifically stresses the importance and value of community service and the lifelong impact that it can have on our students," says John Martello, founder and director of the Shriver Center and vice provost of community partnerships at UMBC.

Other academic institutions listed in the Volunteer Service Programs category include Cornell, Stanford and Yale.

The Shriver Center was chosen through a highly selective process that considered clarity of vision and statement of purpose; institutional resources; involvement of institutional leaders; impact on students, faculty, campus and community; integration into the core curriculum or academic study; longevity; external awards and recognition; and assessment.

Established in 1987, the John Templeton Foundation works closely with educators, scientists, theologians, medical professionals, and other scholars throughout the world to support more than 100 programs serving three chief purposes: to encourage character development in schools and colleges; to encourage an appreciation for the benefits of freedom; and to stimulate serious and scientific research on the relationship between spirituality and health.

The Foundation's College and Character Initiative supports national programs that offer meaningful opportunities for college students to learn about, reflect upon, and practice the virtues of personal and civic responsibility.

Posted by dwinds1 at October 1, 1999 12:00 AM