Led by football and women's soccer, the Towson Tigers completed the most service hours by a Division I athletic program this fall
The Towson Tigers are capping the calendar year with a national title.
The Towson University athletics department considers community service to be one of its highest priorities, and on Wednesday, the NCAA announced that Towson is the Division I national champion of the NCAA Team Works Helper Helper Competition for the Fall 2018 semester.
"We couldn’t be more proud to see our TU student-athletes lead the nation and all NCAA Division I teams in their commitment to the community, which is part of our mission as an engaged university," said Towson University President Kim Schatzel. "Our Tigers continue to demonstrate excellence on the field, in the classroom and around Greater Baltimore."
NCAA Team Works, which coordinates community service efforts at NCAA championships, and Helper Helper, a volunteer service management and tracking platform, launched the competition to recognize student-athletes who give back to their communities. The competition ran from August through November. The winning schools were determined based on the amount of service hours completed and the participation of student-athletes.
This isn't the first time that Towson University Athletics has been recognized for its work in the community. In fact, this isn't the first time the Tigers have been recognized by Helper Helper and the NCAA.
Earlier this year, TU finished the year ranked second nationally in the 2018 NCAA Team Works Community Spring Service Competition. In addition, TU was a runner-up for the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics’ Community Service Award, which is sponsored by the Fiesta Bowl.
Towson University Athletics has continued to go above and beyond in the community, having completed more than 10,000 hours of community service the past six years, and reaching a record of 13,710 service hours last year.
TU's student-athletes aren't the only ones giving back. During the 2017-18 academic year, Towson University students performed 1,023,873 hours of service. That total combines community service hours, along with internships hours that were considered service.
“When TU students engage in community service, they help the community but they also enhance their own education,”said Lisa Hill, coordinator of community service in the Office of Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility. “Community service experiences provide students with opportunities to learn about their assumptions, expectations, and values and to do the work in cultural competency.”
Towson student-athletes and staff completed 5,583 hours of community service from September to November around the Greater Baltimore area.
“It is a great honor to be a national champion of community service,” said Towson director of athletics Tim Leonard. “Community service is a part of our DNA here at Towson University, and our student-athletes represent this institution with pride here in the Greater Baltimore area. This is a fantastic achievement for everyone in our department, including all student-athletes, coaches, administration and staff.”
By the end of the academic year, TU's athletics department is on track to earn more than 10,000 hours of community service for a seventh straight year.
"It is an honor for Towson University Athletics to win the Helper Helper NCAA Team Works Competition for community service,” said Antwaine Smith, Towson senior assistant athletic director and director of the Total Tiger Program. “This success is the direct result of commitment from our student-athletes, coaches and athletic administration, in addition to the university's emphasis on engaging with the Greater Baltimore community. Our student-athletes’ community service efforts are not only a source of pride for them, but they are rapidly becoming a legacy for our department."
This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel’s priorities for Towson University: TU Matters to Maryland.