A Christian Liberal Arts University, Est. 1846

Taylor Director of Student Ministries wins statewide Award

  • By: Indiana Campus Compact
  • Published: Apr 10, 2015 3:00PM
Mary Rayburn

Indiana Campus Compact has honored Taylor University’s Mary Rayburn with its Community Service Director Award. Rayburn, Director of Student Ministries at Taylor, was recognized for her leadership in community outreach efforts throughout the State of Indiana.

She received the award last month at the Indiana Campus Compact Service Engagement Summit in Indianapolis.

The Community Service Director Award is given annually to honor those who facilitate community engagement and inspire students, faculty, and administrators to create campus and community partnerships. The award comes with a cash prize for the recipient to donate to the community partner of his or her choice.

Rayburn was nominated by Dr. Connie Lightfoot, Dean of Taylor’s School of Social Sciences, Education, and Business; and Dr. Michael Guebert, Professor and Chair, Earth Sciences at Taylor.

“Mary has been the most active leader and advocate for service engagement at Taylor University,” said Lightfoot and Guebert in their nomination letter. “Her engagement since the early days with Indiana Campus Compact, her strong leadership and development of programs at Taylor University, her advocacy and action of collaboration between Student Development and Academic Affairs, and her steadfast personal commitment to service, despite significant challenges, have marked her excellent leadership in service engagement over the years.”

Rayburn has developed and organized over 160 spring break trips, involving over 350 leaders and 3,000 students. “We are very aware that Mary is also involved with planning,” said Matthews Area Chamber of Commerce President LaRea Slater. “Spring Break trips in which the students stay in Grant Count and are challenged to provide needed assistance right here at home. Mary fulfils the student motto for their four-year stay on campus: We Live in Grant County.”

In reflecting upon Taylor’s first local week-long service trip – 14 miles away in Marion – Rayburn remembered, “This trip was developed as a result of interest from faculty and students who wanted to learn more about our Grant County neighbors by living, learning, and serving with them for a week rather than just serving with them a couple hours a week,” she said. “Students and faculty who have participated in this trip for the past four years learned about the local community and served through St. Martin Community Center. (The students) saw areas of Marion, met local residents, and gained a deeper understanding of the challenges within neighborhoods that they bypass on their way to and from Walmart or the movie theater. In addition to learning and experiencing the local community during their spring break, the students began a weekly outreach partnership with St. Martin’s which is ongoing.”

About Indiana Campus Compact: Indiana Campus Compact supports higher education’s efforts to develop students into well-informed, engaged citizens. By providing programs, services, and resources, Indiana Campus Compact serves as a catalyst for campuses and communities to improve people’s lives through service-learning and civic engagement initiatives. For more information, please visit www.indianacampuscompact.org.