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Empire College Earns White House Recognition 4th Year in a Row

Empire College White House Recognition


SANTA ROSA, CA - For the fourth consecutive year, Empire College has been named to President Obama’s 2015 Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction. The honor roll program annually highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems and placing students on a lifelong path of civic engagement.

Empire first applied for the annual recognition in 2012 and was among 18 California colleges recognized “with distinction.” In 2013, Empire College was among the finalists for the top award and, in 2014, was again recognized “with distinction.” In 2015, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors further recognized the Empire College Board of Directors with a Jefferson Award for Public Service.

“We are pleased to be among 16 California colleges recognized in the ‘with distinction’ category again this year,” stated Roy Hurd, Empire’s president. “It is a tribute to our faculty and staff’s commitment to fostering service-learning and volunteerism among our students, who provide a variety of free services each year to local residents and nonprofit agencies.”

In addition to free assistance ranging from health screenings to income tax preparation to legal advice, Empire’s community outreach program involves raising thousands of dollars and donating facility space to local nonprofits each year.

“While Empire College’s size is modest, the level of participation among students, faculty, and staff is tremendous,” says Hurd.

Examples of Empire’s accomplishments which merited its latest honor roll recognition include:

  • $850,489 tax refund for 511 low-income taxpayers assisted by Empire College advanced accounting students at the on-campus tax clinic for United Way’s Earn It! Keep It! Save It! program
  • $191,250 equivalent value of Empire Juris Doctor law student and paralegal intern staffing hours donated pro bono to the legal research and writing divisions of both the Sonoma County District Attorney and Public Defender’s offices, freeing over-scheduled deputies for court duty in lieu of research and motion writing.
  • $20,000 equivalent value of donated staff attorney services to Sonoma County Legal Aid.
  • $7,176 raised by hospitality students for Worth Our Weight, a program for youth who face major life challenges, and Children’s Village of Sonoma County, supporting foster children
  • $3,000 equivalent value of paralegal intern staffing hours donated pro bono to Advanced Collaborative Team Solutions and the Sonoma County Small Claims Advisory
  • 1,750 people served by Empire law students through pro bono staffing and management of the on-campus Sonoma County Small Claims Advisory
  • 1,000 free flu vaccinations, blood pressure and/or glucose screenings administered by medical assisting students at employee health fairs and the Empire Flu Shot Clinic (a Sonoma County Flu Task Force site)
  • $800 raised for Walk Now for Autism Speaks by Empire’s information technology students.
  • $405 donated to the Sonoma County Family Justice Center and Crossing Jordan by paralegal students

Adds Hurd, “Through small class sizes that encourage a strong sense of community and our accomplished faculty in the Business and Law Schools, Empire is able to offer an array of service-learning educational opportunities for students to acquire practical experience. We are proud to be a community resource and educational asset.”