​Giving Back: Excelsior University Uses Volunteer Week as Opportunity to Impact the Local Community

​Faculty and Staff Volunteered at Non-profit Organizations During National Volunteer Week

[Albany, New York] – Excelsior University celebrated National Volunteer Week by joining hands with faculty and staff in supporting local non-profit organizations. From April 17 to April 22, our team dedicated time volunteering at six organizations in the Albany area, including the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, Veterans Miracle Center, Underground Railroad Education Center, Capital City Rescue Mission, and Albany Pine Bush Preserve.

​Excelsior University has a long history in giving back to the communities and areas where its faculty and staff live and work, and this year’s Volunteer Week provided an opportunity to coordinate a weeklong initiative centered around supporting local organizations. As a university, Excelsior recognizes the importance of using volunteer work as a way to develop new skills, connect with others, and make an impact on the community.

​“Throughout my ministry and crisis work years, I experienced firsthand the impact of what I call “the ministry of presence.” In my perspective, at the root of our JEDI [justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion] work is our responsibility to see others’ humanity, to opening the necessary space for them to be who they are with us, to be with them authentically, to share our experiences and perspectives, and to leverage the richness of our diversity,“ said Daniel Pascoe Aguilar, founding director of the Center for Social Justice at Excelsior. “This National Volunteer Week, let’s show up authentically to support those whose authenticity is often discriminated, and to encourage and respect the authenticity of those around us.”

​Throughout the week, faculty and staff had the opportunity to contribute their volunteer efforts to several organizations. Whether it was preparing lunch at the Capital City Rescue Mission, organizing food items at the Regional Food Bank, or clearing trails at the Albany Pine Bush Preserve, they were able to give back to the community and build strong relationships with their colleagues.

​“Throughout the year, Excelsior University helps to raise funds to support community needs, coordinates collection drives, and participates in volunteerism in the local community. Dedicated to the belief that a strong social fabric creates opportunity, employees help in the community as a chance to learn about themselves and different communities,” said Zachary Patterson, associate director of academic evaluation. “It is also an opportunity to meet and work with colleagues from various units across the University while helping great causes. Overall, participating in National Volunteer Week is an amazing opportunity to celebrate all of this on a grander stage.”

​In addition to sharing daily videos and photos on social media, members of the Excelsior community were invited to share their personal volunteer stories and spread the word on social media using the hashtag #ExcelsiorCares.

​During Volunteer Week, and every week, Excelsior is committed to making a difference and growing stronger communities across the globe. Excelsior looks forward to continuing its support of these and other organizations and urges everyone to pursue volunteer opportunities.

​For a short video recap of the week, visit here: https://youtu.be/k7pMU0K1X1c

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​Media Contact Excelsior University:

​Erin Coufal, ecoufal@excelsior.edu, 518-608-8498


​Excelsior University is an accredited, not-for-profit online institution focused on helping adults complete their degrees and advance their careers. Excelsior contributes to the development of a diverse, educated, and career-ready society by valuing lifelong learning with an emphasis on serving individuals historically underrepresented in higher education. Founded in 1971, Excelsior meets students where they are — academically and geographically — removing obstacles to the educational goals of adults pursuing continuing education and degree completion. Our pillars include innovation, flexibility, academic excellence, and integrity.