Joliet, Ill. – Service is one of the University of St. Francis’ (USF) four Franciscan values that centers its mission and identity. As part of its year-long centennial celebration in 2020, the university has set a goal of accumulating 100,000 hours of service and is inviting alumni, employees, families, friends and the community to contribute to the effort.

“We commit ourselves to becoming people of service because of the traditions of our Franciscan roots that stretch all the way from St. Francis of Assisi, who was himself imitating the life of Christ, and brought the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate to Joliet. The congregation’s founder Mother Alfred Moes passionately modeled service through her many acts of leadership and charity in the Joliet area, leadership that lead to the creation of this college. Now 100 years later, as we begin our centennial celebration commemorating the founding of our institution, it is appropriate to reflect on the 100 years of ‘preparing women and men to contribute to the world through service and leadership’ and to look at the difference USF continues to make in our community and in the world,” said Jessica Peek, director of university ministry at USF.

From now through December 31, 2020, USF encourages individuals and groups to complete acts of service and then visit to record the hours. For each 1,000 hours of service recorded (which will represent one year of USF’s history of service), a timeline on display in Tower Hall and a counter on the USF centennial website will be updated to reflect progress toward the 100,000-hour service goal.

“We have started our ‘soft launch’ during the fall semester and it has been fantastic to see the different types of service in which the USF community engages. Many of our hours come from our long tradition of students serving breakfast at Daybreak (Shelter) on Fridays and now with employees serving on Thursdays. Our freshman students contribute hours through their Foundations classes, which promote service learning through their curriculum. Sometimes the contributions come in large numbers, from a group mission trip or from an athletic team or student club having participated in a large service project, and other times the service contributed was an individual who gave an hour or two of their time to a good cause,” Peek said.

She also stressed that all service, even just one hour, makes a difference in the community and toward the university’s overall goal.

“No matter how many hours given, every bit helps the goal—and even more importantly, every hour of our time spent in service for and with others transforms us all,” she said.

The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 50,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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