A Call to Serve: What are you going to do now?

A “call to serve” was the theme as MCLP marked its fifth year with a memorable celebration on April 5, graduating the class of 2014 and celebrating servant leadership.

Over 500 people filled Illinois State University’s Bone Student Center as this year’s 25 participants walked on the stage and completed their intensive eight-month effort together. Ivan Hall spoke for the class, commending MCLP for being “intentional about who they put in front of you” but ending with the traditional MCLP challenge to his classmates and the audience, “What are you going to do now?”

Keynote speaker Chris Marvin, of “Got Your Six,” an organization that encourages returning veterans to community service, examined the divide between civilian and military life. He noted that many people thank veterans for their service, but few ask veterans the same question that Hall raised, “what are you going to do now?” Chris felt that “veterans are not living up their potential, because no one is asking them. …If we want to have a new greatest generation, it has to be civilian and military together.”

The “call to serve” and work together were exemplified in this year’s service award winners, Hank and Mary Campbell and Tim Golliday.

Hank and Mary were the first couple to receive the MCLP Community Service Award.  Both echoed the MCLP theme of involvement and team work. These two retired Illinois State University faculty members have a long history of community service, with Habitat for Humanity, Rotary, the Baby Fold and ISU students. Their current project is Labyrinth Outreach Services for Women, aiding women returning from prison. Labyrinth was a MCLP Class of 2013 project and Mary noted how much her MCLP team’s effort aided Labyrinth. “What you can accomplish as a member of a team is amazing. Volunteering to make lives better for others has the amazing result of making you better.”

Hank recounted their journey to ISU and how the community opened up opportunities for them. He very touchingly saluted his spouse and the many outreach efforts they completed together.

Tim Golliday, MCLP class of 2012, received the Alumni Award. During his year with MCLP Class of 2012 he worked on an Ecology Action Center (EAC) project. Now Tim serves on the EAC board and helped establish the EAC’s “We Care” half-marathon which raises funds for local non-profits. He also serves as event chair with current MCLP class sessions and volunteers at Home Sweet Home ministries.

Advisory board members and MCLP founding supporters, Willie Brown and Deanna Frautschi, spoke as “proud parents” seeing MCLP pass its fifth anniversary, encouraging support for the MCLP endowment.

MCLP encourages community service as a core servant leadership responsibility. This year’s class completed projects aiding the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Faith In Action, the Baby Fold, the Community Cancer Center and Heartland Head Start.