Millikin University first-year students participated in the annual Day of Action, through the United Way of Decatur and Mid-Illinois, on Friday, Aug. 19 and Saturday, Aug. 20. More than 400 Millikin students, faculty and staff engaged in service projects throughout the Decatur community.
A highlight of First Week activities, Day of Action is Millikin University's opportunity to give back to the Decatur community by sending students into the neighborhoods for service opportunities.
This year, Millikin students performed services at various locations including Decatur Salvation Army, Macon County Fairgrounds, Rock Springs Conservation Area, Dennis Lab School Garden, Good Samaritan Inn, United Way, Boys & Girls Club of Decatur, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Special Olympics Illinois.
"We had over 20 first-year students help clean up the Dennis School Garden," said Trevor Hooth, a junior communication major and first-year experience mentor from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. "For a lot of freshmen, this is a new place for them and First Week gives them the opportunity to get to know their classmates. This experience helps the students get acclimated to the campus and allows them to get to know the Decatur community."
One group of 18 Millikin students made their way to Greenwood Cemetery to help clean brick gutters and adjust headstones.
Logan Schildknecht, a junior at Millikin studying commercial music and a first-year experience mentor noted, "My experience was very fun because I was able to meet new friends and do good deeds for the community," said Schildknecht. "Some people were giving gift baskets, others were pulling weeds, but we learned about the history of the cemetery and helped clean up."
The experience was an opportunity for the students to bond together before classes began on Monday, Aug. 22.
Mairyn Dodson, a sophomore vocal music education major from Lake Saint Louis, Mo., says, "It's important to remember that the services are an important part of college. Millikin tells its students that we value volunteer work."
First Week concluded with Opening Convocation on Sunday, Aug. 21 in Kirkland Fine Arts Center where Millikin faculty and students gathered to celebrate the beginning of the academic year.