Waynesburg University's commitment to faith, service and learning is continuously expressed through the passion and dedication of its students, faculty and staff. To honor those that exemplify the spirit of service, Waynesburg's annual service award is bestowed upon an individual and student group that embody what it means to wholeheartedly serve others while making a difference in the world.
Announced during the University's chapel service Tuesday, April 10, Leeann Danley, an elementary and special education major from West Finley, Pa., and Waynesburg University's student chapter of Colleges Against Cancer were named the 2012 recipients of the award.
Danley has served with a number of organizations and ministries including the Waynesburg Senior Center and Tuesday night dinners at St. Anns, among others. She has participated in several mission trips including an extended trip to El Centro Nutricional y Hogar de Niños in Guatemala over Christmas and New Year's last December.
Calling the award a blessing, Danley believes her service experiences at Waynesburg have given her an opportunity to give thanks to God “for giving her the gifts and time to serve His people in Greene County and in other parts of the world.”
“The award is more than a piece of wood to hang on the wall; it symbolizes the many men and women who did more than just receive a classroom education at this University,” she said. “They selflessly dedicated and invested themselves in the lives of others. They learned about a need, and used their time and abilities to make changes happen.”
Danley is one of the many students profoundly affected by the ways in which Waynesburg University instills its mission in its students.
“Over the past four years, I have been one of the torchbearers who has carried and shared the University's deeply-rooted commitment to faith, serving and learning,” she said.
Other individual nominees for the award included Andrew Dennis, a senior business management major from McKeesport, Pa.; Kaitlyn Karan, a senior nursing major from Sarver, Pa.; Jessica Malingowski, a senior forensic accounting major from Finleyville, Pa.; Sarah Markwardt, a senior biblical ministries and international studies major from Uniontown, Pa.; and Mary Sallach, a junior athletic training major from Erie, Pa.
Colleges Against Cancer, led by Kelley Hardie, assistant director of student activities, received the 2012 Harry E. Gardner club or organization award. Kaitlyn Karan, president of CAC, accepted the award.
Since 2007, the organization has devoted itself to raising money and awareness for the American Cancer Society. In addition to the Gardner Award, the chapter was recently named the Outstanding Organization of the Year for Greene County by the American Cancer Society.
Most notably, CAC has raised more than $60,000 in five years through its annual Mini-Relay for Life. This spring, the chapter raised more than $23,000 through the University's 5th Annual Mini-Relay. An estimated 600 people participated in the event.
Other group nominees for the award included the American Chemical Society and the EcoStewards.