Catawba Stewardship Day brings out volunteers to beautify campus

Published 12:01 am Thursday, August 4, 2022

SALISBURY – Dozens of volunteers put in about 150 hours of service to help get Catawba College’s campus ready for the new academic year.

The college has a tradition of providing a day of volunteerism for our community and our campus,” Catawba Vice President for the College Experience Jared Tice said. “That’s been something during the pandemic that we weren’t consistently delivering, but we wanted to deliver it this year.”

The college last held its Day of Stewardship in 2020. Tice said the day is a way to give back to the campus via the community. His office identified the project and sent out a call for volunteers. There were about 70 people who participated on July 28. The volunteers were a mix of faculty and staff, students, alumni, incoming students and other friends of the college.

The work included landscaping, laying mulch, scraping and painting hand rails, repurposing some external lights and pressure washing. Tice said the college chooses tasks that are generally not dangerous and do not require special skills or certifications for students to perform.

“We wouldn’t want to put people in a cherry picker or have them do electrical work,” Tice said. “Our deliverables in three or four hours have a low threshold of ability to engage in them and have a noticeable impact on campus.”

Tice pointed to the new mulch and freshly painted hand rails as having an obvious visual impact on the campus. He said another goal is to give people on campus a sense of pride knowing they had an impact on beautifying the property.

The only incentive for participating was coffee, donuts and sharing lunch to reflect on the work.

“Really, I just think people wanted to come out and help beautify the campus ahead of our students returning, and I really think that was the motivation for everyone,” Tice said.

Miles Lester, an incoming student from Rowan County who plans to study either biology or chemistry, said he signed up because he enjoys volunteer work and wanted to give back to the college. He said he volunteers to work on public trail and landscaping projects, as well as pitching in for local Eagle Scout projects.

“It’s just a lot of fun,” Lester said.

He got acclimated to the college during June orientation. Lester was painting hand rails after they were scraped clean last Thursday and went in to the experience looking for anyway he could help.

“I want to beautify it,” Lester said. “When you can see you have put a mark on that school, that’s a good and healthy one as a student, and as a visitor that’s something people want to see as well. I want to make sure the place is maintained.”

Lester mostly worked with two staff members, but got to meet new folks on campus as well, including Tice, faculty and other students.

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About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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