George Fox University closes campus for day so 2,000-plus students, staff can serve communities

September 4th, 2017

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University’s 19th annual Serve Day on Sept. 13 will assist organizations, churches and elderly in Yamhill, Clackamas, Marion, Washington and Multnomah counties

NEWBERG, Ore. – For a 19th straight year, George Fox University is closing its doors for a day to allow students, staff and faculty to assist nonprofits, public agencies, churches, retirement homes and individual citizens during a day of service on Wednesday, Sept. 13.

More than 2,000 students and employees are expected to participate in Serve Day, performing a variety of projects – including construction, painting, weeding, cleaning and visiting with seniors – for 104 sites in Yamhill, Washington, Marion, Multnomah and Clackamas counties.

Stops this year will include visits to several Habitat for Humanity locations, the Newberg School District, Providence Hospital, the city of Newberg, the city of Dundee, the Newberg Library, the Chehalem Parks & Recreation District, the Union Gospel Mission, the Oregon Garden and the Oregon Zoo. 

Other highlights from the day are a visit to the Newberg School District, a group of veteran students serving fellow veterans at an agency, and artists doing projects at North Valley Church in Newberg, the Hope Chinese Charter School in Beaverton and the East Creek Anagama Kiln near Willamina, Oregon.

Volunteers will stop by Canyon Commons at 7 a.m. for breakfast and head over to the Newberg campus quad at 8:30 a.m. for a short program before departing for sites at 9 a.m. The groups will return to campus by 4 p.m. The day concludes with a church and activities fair along with a picnic dinner from 4 to 6 p.m.

The Serve Day theme is “Grace & Peace,” based on this year’s theme verse from Ephesians 1:2: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

George Fox began its Serve Day tradition in 1999. According to Campus Compact, a national coalition that promotes community service in higher education, it was the first instance of an entire university shutting down for a day of such activity.

In 18 years, more than 26,000 students and employees have volunteered about 190,000 hours for Serve Day projects, and more than 200 organizations or churches have been assisted, according to Brad Lau, vice president for student life.

“This special day has become a deeply rooted tradition in the life of the George Fox University community as we seek to show the love of Christ by serving Newberg, Portland and the surrounding area,” said Brad Lau, vice president for student life. “Our hope is that Serve Day will challenge those inside and outside George Fox to make a difference in their communities by serving others as a way of life.”

For more information on Serve Day, visit or call 503-554-2326.

George Fox University is ranked by Forbes among the top Christian universities in the country and is a Christian college classified by U.S. News & World Report as a first-tier regional university. Money magazine ranked it the No. 1 school in Oregon in its 2017-18 “Best Colleges for Your Money” list. More than 4,000 students attend classes on the university’s campus in Newberg, Ore., and at teaching centers in Portland, Salem and Redmond, Ore. George Fox offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 40 majors, degree-completion programs for working adults, six seminary degrees, and 13 master’s and doctoral degrees.


Kearsten McCoy
Serve Day Coordinator

Learn more about us through the  George Fox University YouTube channel.