Education: Pfeiffer freshmen to get introduction to university’s mission to prepare servant leaders

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

When this year’s record number of new students reach the Pfeiffer University campus, they will quickly understand the institution’s mission to prepare servant leaders through one of the university’s largest service projects to date.
During move-in weekend, from 2 p.m.- 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 16, more than 300 freshmen, faculty, staff and alumni are expected to assemble in the Stokes Student Center Lounge on the Misenheimer campus to fill, seal and package more than 112,000 meals for those in need around the globe.
The university’s newly enhanced Freshman Year Experience program, which includes a semester-long course titled the “The Pfeiffer Journey,” will offer incoming students an opportunity to consider their values, as well as guidance to help identify their place in the world. The “Stop Hunger Now” project will provide the official launch of this more in-depth first-year initiative.
Stop Hunger Now is an international relief organization dedicated to helping end the world’s hunger, especially among children. Since 1998, the organization has shipped food to support millions of people in more than 60 countries around the world. Stop Hunger Now has strategically focused its efforts toward areas of the world that have been affected by natural disasters. The program enables partnerships through local community groups, universities and organizations to become active in support of these efforts. Pfeiffer organizers believe the connection and power of working side-by-side to benefit others who have suffered significant catastrophes, simply “defies description.”
“The heart of Pfeiffer has long been about service and this is a good launching point for the incoming freshman class,” said Deborah Burris, chair of the communication studies department and one of the event organizers. “We have discussed the value of service and encouraged our students to step outside themselves and offer their time and talent to make a difference in the lives of people they will never meet. This event should be inspiring and connecting. We’ve never had an entire class work together in this way.”Last year, Pfeiffer conducted a smaller outreach project with Stop Hunger Now. Mickey Horner, the Charlotte area coordinator for the project, praised the work ethic and professionalism exhibited by the 50 or so Pfeiffer students who were involved and said the service event was extremely meaningful and rewarding.
Aaron Duncan, now a sophomore international business major from Valdese, N.C., who participated in last year’s project, agreed.
“Working alongside other students, many I didn’t know, was incredible,” said Duncan. “Although we had individual roles during the project, we worked together as a team and covered each other when needed. We were all there for a common goal ó and that was to help others. What we were able to accomplish in a few hours was truly amazing.”The General Board of Global Ministries, the global mission agency of The United Methodist Church, provided a $3,000 grant to help fund the project.
To participate or for more details, contact Deborah Burris at (704) 463-3358 or deborah.burris@pfeiffer.edu.

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