George Fox to shut down so 1,900 students can volunteer

By George Fox University

George Fox University closes campus for day so 1,900-plus students, staff can serve communities

University’s 17th annual Serve Day on Sept. 9 will assist organizations, churches and elderly in Yamhill, Clackamas, Marion, Washington and Multnomah counties

For a 17th straight year, George Fox University is closing its doors for a day to allow students, staff and faculty to assist nonprofits, public agencies, churches, retirement homes and individual citizens during a day of service on Wednesday, Sept. 9.

More than 1,900 students and employees are expected to participate in Serve Day, performing a variety of projects – including construction, painting, weeding, cleaning and visiting with seniors – for 97 sites in Yamhill, Washington, Marion, Multnomah and Clackamas counties. Visits this year will include the American Wildlife Foundation, the Center for Medically Fragile Children, Edwards Elementary School in Newberg, Ore., the Portland Rescue Mission, the Yamhill County Historical Society, Habitat for Humanity of Newberg and the Newberg Animal Shelter Friends.

Volunteers will meet on the Newberg campus quad at 7:30 a.m. for breakfast and a short program before departing for sites at 9 a.m. The groups will return to campus by 4 p.m. The day concludes with a church and activities fair along with a picnic dinner.

The theme of the event is “Hands & Feet,” in reference to Christians serving as the “hands and feet” of Christ. A quote from Saint Teresa of Avila summarizes the idea: “Christ has no body now on earth but yours; no hands but yours; no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ must look out on the world. Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good. Yours are the hands with which he is to bless his people.”

George Fox began its Serve Day tradition in 1999. According to Campus Compact, a national coalition that promotes community service in higher education, it was the first instance of an entire university shutting down for a day of such activity.

In 16 years, more than 22,000 students and employees have volunteered about 170,000 hours for Serve Day projects, and more than 200 organizations or churches have been assisted, according to Brad Lau, vice president for student life.

“This special day has become a deeply rooted tradition in the life of the George Fox University community as we seek to show the love of Christ by serving Newberg, Portland and the surrounding area,” Lau said. “Our hope is that Serve Day will challenge those inside and outside George Fox to make a difference in their communities by serving others as a way of life.”

For more information on Serve Day, visit or call 503-554-2326.

George Fox University is ranked by Forbes among the top Christian universities in the country and is a Christian college classified by U.S. News & World Report as a first-tier regional university. More than 3,700 students attend classes on the university’s campus in Newberg, Ore., and at teaching centers in Portland, Salem and Redmond, Ore. George Fox offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 40 majors, degree-completion programs for working adults, six seminary degrees, and 11 master’s and doctoral degrees.

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