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

September 3rd, 2018

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University’s 20th annual Serve Day on Sept. 12 will assist local schools, non-profit organizations, churches and elderly in Yamhill, Clackamas, Marion, Washington and Multnomah counties

NEWBERG, Ore. – For a 20th 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. 12.

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 110 sites in Yamhill, Washington, Marion, Multnomah and Clackamas counties. This year, the university is working closely to serve the Newberg Public School District. Projects will include painting classrooms and the Newberg High School gym, assisting with kindergarten testing across the district, as well as general landscaping, gardening and preparing classroom materials. In addition, nearly 25 students will be trained to serve as student mentors within the Newberg School District for the 2018-19 academic year.

Other Serve Day highlights include a visit from music department students and faculty to a local retirement home and a third straight trip by the school’s men’s basketball team to a local 55-plus living community to do yardwork and lawn care. Smaller teams will volunteer with the Ronald McDonald House in Portland and the Hope Chinese Charter School in Beaverton, Oregon. Local teams will get to work with the Newberg youth baseball leagues, the city of Newberg, the Chehalem Parks and Recreation District, and the Newberg Downtown Coalition.

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 6:30 p.m.

The Serve Day theme is “Many Hands Make Light,” based on this year’s theme verse from Mark 2:1-12.

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 19 years, more than 28,000 students and employees have volunteered about 200,000 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.