TU's volunteer army
BY MICHAEL OVERALL World Staff Writer
Thursday, August 16, 2007
8/16/07 at 1:54 AM
A service project
brings freshmen to a
nearby grade school.
It being their first week of college, the freshmen naturally took
off their shoes Wednesday morning and waded knee-deep into a
That's what freshmen do these
days at the University of Tulsa. At
least some of them.
Others sat cross-legged on the
floor to read a book about talking
bunny rabbits, and some painted
pictures on walls.
"We want to indoctrinate them in
community service," said Mike
Mills, TU's associate dean of students and coordinator of university
and community service. "We want
them to understand the value of it
and make it a natural part of college
That's why, as part of freshman
orientation this year, Mills wanted
to take the entire class somewhere
to perform a community service
project. But with 587 freshmen, the
idea presented a logistical problem.
"Where would you find that
many buses?" Mills asked. "And
how would you pay for it?"
So he turned to Kendall-Whittier
Elementary School, only a few
blocks west of the university.
The freshmen simply marched
down the street, descending on the
school in two shifts of nearly 300
"We'll certainly find something
for them to do," Kendall-Whittier
Principal Judy Feary said. "We're
going to have them all over the
school, inside and out."
Some students planted flower
gardens while others painted murals on the hallway walls.
Some sorted school supplies
while others read to classes.
Some organized library books
while others cleaned the school's
That's how Ryan Mayfield came
to spend one of his first days as a
college student knee-deep in water.
"I volunteered for this," said
Mayfield, 19, of Missouri. "And it
Michael Overall 581-8383
University of Tulsa freshmen Jordan Hobbs (top) of Tulsa, Leigh Anne Joyce (middle)
of Tulsa, and Kari Stender of Sioux City, Iowa, all 18, paint a mural Wednesday at
nearby Kendall-Whittier Elementary School. TU’s newest students took part in various
community service projects as part of freshman orientation.