Message from President Hancock: College Community Urged to Volunteer to Honor MLK; Opportunities Available

By Merodie Hancock, Ph.D., president, SUNY Empire State College

January 14, 2014

President Merodie Hancock, Empire State CollegeSUNY Empire State College has a long tradition of community service and volunteerism. In fact, our mission statement cites a commitment to “active engagement in the local and the global community.” Nearly 42 percent of our students indicated on the recent SUNY Student Opinion Survey that in a typical week, they are involved in some form of community service. In talking to members of the college community I know that if polled, our faculty and staff would indicate a similar or greater percentage.   

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, understanding that SUNY schools have always been a hub for community service, has created a partnership with the Regional Volunteer Center Network of New York. This endeavor also is directly connected to SUNY’s Strategic Plan which includes the notion of creating and sustaining vibrant communities as one of its six big ideas.  

On Jan. 20, 2014, as we pause to honor the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we are reminded that he was a major proponent of community service. It is, therefore, fitting that the partnership between SUNY schools and the Regional Volunteer Center Network has created various volunteer opportunities in observance of Dr. King’s life and legacy

Given the statewide presence of SUNY Empire State College, I am sharing with you the volunteer opportunities available across the state – some are happening on Martin Luther King Day, others afterward, and some are ongoing.  

We would like to showcase our faculty, staff and students who plan to volunteer. If you plan to engage in one of the attached volunteer opportunities please email Michael Mancini, director of community and government relations, at, indicating the event for which you plan to volunteer.

Again, thank you to all who give back to your community, regardless of when. Community service has been one of the most rewarding parts of my life and I know this sentiment is shared by many at the college. 


Merodie A. Hancock, Ph.D.

For volunteer opportunities visit:

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