Defiance College gives more than 12,000 service hours to local community in past year

July 3, 2018

DEFIANCE, Ohio - During the 2017-2018 academic year, Defiance College students, faculty, and staff donated more than 12,470 hours of their time to the Defiance community. The economic impact on the community is estimated at more than $100,000.

The majority of volunteer hours came from the college’s Service Leadership program, an initiative created in 1995 that gives Defiance College students the opportunity to use their classroom knowledge in ways that give back to the community. During the past year, Service Leaders volunteered their time with at least 117 schools, churches, and organizations both on- and off-campus.

Besides the Service Leadership program, groups that regularly contribute their time to the community include athletic teams, Project 701, McMaster School participants, numerous academic classes, and individual staff and faculty.

“One of the four pillars of our mission is 'to serve,'” noted DC president Dr. Richanne C. Mankey. “The numbers of hours provided in service by our students, faculty and staff, not only contribute to the community in positive ways, but also facilitate learning.

“One excellent way to learn is through reflection and, when we work with others, they touch our hearts and we touch theirs. What a great experience for our students as they apply their classroom learning to real-world situations.“ 

All DC sports teams engage in at least one major community service project each year as well as volunteer at local organizations. The football team held a youth football camp at the Independence Education Center in the past year. Women’s soccer teammates sponsored an after school program called Beyond the Bell at Defiance Middle School, helping with homework and offering a safe place to participate in recreational activities.

Many DC students, faculty, and staff assist with Backpack Buddies, a Project 701 initiative that partners with United Way of Defiance County and St. John United Church of Christ to provide nutritious weekend food to children in need.

Project 701 is a student-run nonprofit organization distinctive to Defiance College that creates, runs, and manages a variety of projects directly addressing community needs. Last year, students successfully planned and administered services for 10 individual projects.

“Defiance College has long been recognized for its commitment to service,” said Mary Ann Studer, dean of the McMaster School for Advancing Humanity. “It is a huge part of our mission. We are a force to be reckoned with in terms of community impact.”

Many DC students who actively take part in service initiatives during their college years will continue to engage in community service in their personal and professional lives after graduation. One young alumna who as a Service Leader contributed 2,000 service hours to the community said of her experience: “I was able to grow into and feel confident in my leadership potential while impacting the local Defiance community. Being a Service Leader gave me a safe and comfortable place to try new things, meet new people, and reaffirm my passion for community development.”

Defiance College, chartered in 1850, is an independent, liberal arts-based institution in Northwest Ohio offering more than 40 undergraduate programs of study as well as graduate programs in education and business. Defiance College has received national recognition for its educational experience of service and engagement. The college website is