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IC’s Service Blitz becomes a semester-long experience


In its 28th year, Illinois College’s unique day of service that traditionally marks the beginning of a new academic year has been transformed into a semester-long service experience.

From their first semester on campus, we want students to understand they have an essential role to play in the vitality of civic life in Jacksonville — something our community has long prided itself on.
Ryan Flynn ’15, director of special projects

First-year students, transfer students, student leaders, faculty and staff from IC will complete a variety of service projects throughout the fall semester as part of the new program, Hilltop Service Experience. Their community projects kicked off earlier this month, with students volunteering at organizations like the YMCA and Educational Day Care Center and at events like the Walk to End Alzheimer’s and Prairieland Steam Show. This weekend, students will be volunteering at the Governor Duncan Mansion.

Ryan Flynn ’15, director of special projects, said the annual service day, previously called Service Blitz, was expanded to help students conceptualize their philanthropic service.

"While we appreciate the long history the Service Blitz carried, we decided to revamp the event this year and transition it to a semester-long experience for first-year students,” he said. “This allows us to better meet the needs of our community partners, encourage student involvement with several local Jacksonville events and develop better learning opportunities to pair with their volunteer experience."

Hilltop Service Experience will build on the success of Service Blitz by deepening Illinois College’s service to the Jacksonville community and by giving students the opportunity to see their impact by being involved beyond just one day. Students’ experiences will be enriched throughout the semester by the connection between their community service and the seminar courses they take. IC will also host community leaders for a convocation that will introduce students to even more ways to get involved during their time at the College.

Illinois College has been nationally recognized for its sustained commitment to service, notably earning a top ranking in the Midwest for community service-based learning by Washington Monthly. The publication also recently named IC among the best colleges and universities for student voting.

"By participating in the Hilltop Service Experience, we hope to instill in students the values set forth in the Illinois College mission: to encourage students to lead ‘fulfilling lives of leadership and service,’” he said. “From their first semester on campus, we want students to understand they have an essential role to play in the vitality of civic life in Jacksonville — something our community has long prided itself on."

Upcoming volunteer sites include Woodlawn Farm and Morgan County Fairgrounds on Oct. 16, PAWS on Oct. 23, Presbyterian Church Day Care Center on Nov. 6 and the YMCA Nov. 12 and 13. Members of the media interested in visiting during volunteer hours to take photos should contact Rosalind Essig, senior writer, at

For more information about Hilltop Service Experience, contact Ryan Flynn ’15, director of community-engaged learning, at 217.245.3630 or

About Illinois College

Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success. The college is located in Jacksonville, Illinois. With an enrollment of more than 1,000 students, the college offers over 50 undergraduate programs. In 1932 the society of Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at Illinois College, and it remains one of only 11 in the state.

Illinois College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

Visit or call 217.245.3000 for more information.

Media Contact Information
Office of Marketing and Communication
Rosalind Essig | Senior Writer
217.245.3194 |