The Outstanding Service Project of the Year recognizes an exceptional campus program that has made significant contributions to its community through service projects and a commitment to helping others. This rewards a campus for its dedication to being a leader in supporting community needs.

2020 Recipient

The 2020 Outstanding Service Project of the Year award winner is the Seminar Service Project from the University of Minnesota–Duluth. This project aligns with the campus’ strategic goals to strengthen ties with local communities through an intentional, visible, and mutually beneficial partnership. Over 1,200 students, 50 teaching assistants, and 40 instructors participated in a single-day service immersion project at over 30 different sites during Welcome Week. 

These volunteer opportunities were intentionally coordinated through the first-year seminar classes and included the teaching assistants and instructors to help with social and academic integration. Three distinct learning outcomes of appreciating local diversity, working collaboratively with peers to address community needs, and recognizing one's own values were achieved.

Seminar Service Project Seminar Service Project
Past Recipients
  • 2019: Field to Pantry – Oregon State University
  • 2018: Metropolitan Volunteer Program: Rock the Block – University of Houston
  • 2017: Cougar Cave and Community Wellness Department – Clackamas Community College
  • 2016: Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week – University of Akron
  • 2015: Weber Ogden Adaptive Program – Weber State University
  • 2014: National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week – Oregon State University
  • 2013: Tiger Pantry – University of Missouri–Columbia
  • 2012: Gorter Family Foundation and North Chicago Community Partners Program – Lake Forest College
  • 2011: Knights Helping Knights Pantry – University of Central Florida
  • 2010: Unified We Serve Project – California State University–Northridge
  • 2009: The Aidan Project – University of Notre Dame
  • 2008: Youth Advocating Leadership and Learning – Indiana University-Purdue University–Indianapolis


The review process includes, but is not limited to, an assessment of the criteria listed below. Due to the wide variety of projects that can be considered, a project does not need to meet every criterion. The program must:

  • Demonstrate the use of practices that exemplify outstanding creativity or introduce new approaches beyond what is standard.
  • Demonstrate effectiveness of the campus department or the community where it occurred.
  • Achieve its stated intended outcomes with a lasting impact that successfully serves a community or campus need.


All ACUI member institutions are eligible to apply for this award. For collaborative initiatives or partnerships, all institutions must be ACUI members. Eligible programs must:

  • Have taken place since the beginning of the previous academic year.
  • Serve as a model to other campuses for replication.
  • Achieve its stated program outcomes and objectives, with evaluation tools in place.
  • Agree to allow a summary of their accomplishments to be published.


Submission materials must include the following:

  1. Name, institution, and contact information of the primary contact for the program.
  2. Title of the program.
  3. A summary, up to two pages, of the program, addressing:
    • Description of the program, including goals and intended outcomes.
    • Description and inclusion of the evaluation methods in place for the program, including brief rationale for choosing stated methods.
    • Evidence that the program meets the criteria identified for this specific award.
  4. And one compiled packet of additional supporting documentation for the program, which could include photos, marketing samples, course materials, budget information, testimonials, etc. No page limit exists, but only the first 15 pages will be considered by the review committee.

The deadline to apply is December 11.

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Electronic notification will be sent to confirm submissions have been received. A confidential Campus Awards Committee, appointed annually by the ACUI president, will review materials to make the selection. One recipient will be chosen, unless otherwise noted for the specific award. One physical award will be given to the recipient, who will be recognized during the awards ceremony at the annual conference and in subsequent publications.