For Immediate Release — June 21, 2004

Contact:

Mary E. McCrank

Media Relations Officer

(585) 245-5516

mccrank@geneseo.edu

GENESEO STUDENT CHAPTER WINS

TOP INTERNATIONAL AWARD

GENESEO, N.Y. — The Blue Knights Chapter of the National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) has been named NRHH Chapter of the Year by NACURH, the National Association of College and University Residence Halls.

The State University of New York at Geneseo was the regional winner from NEACURH (the Northeast Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls) and competed against the winning schools from each of the other seven regions that make up NACURH. In June, several Geneseo students traveled to St. Louis, Mo., to formally accept the top honors.

NACURH is the largest student-run corporation in the country, and boasts about 300 member institutions from across the United States, Canada and Mexico. The National Residence Hall Honorary is a national office of NACURH, and is currently hosted by Mississippi State University.

NRHH exists to recognize the top one percent of residence hall student leaders. According to NACURH, NRHH provides valuable opportunities for campus-wide, regional and national recognition of students who have made significant contributions to a college’s housing program.

Holly MacKenzie ’04, who was an active member of NRHH and served as chair of the Inter-Residence Council her senior year, said the Geneseo students were thrilled to win the award.

The Geneseo chapter has about 25 to 30 active members, and their hard work last year paid off, she said. NRHH also could stand for: networking, recognizing, helping hands and having fun, according to the Blue Knights Chapter’s Web site.

Geneseo won the award for its community service and recognition on and off campus, MacKenzie said. Among some of the events NRHH hosted this year included a penny carnival for the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program and the region’s Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk, she said. Each month, NRHH completed a community service project. The members made Valentine’s Day cards for children in Roswell Park Cancer Institute’s Children’s Ward in Buffalo and holiday cards for residents of local retirement homes. In addition, they worked with Greek organizations to beautify the campus grounds and put together Easter baskets for nursing home residents in Geneseo.

The projects help connect the college students with the community, said MacKenzie, 22, of Alden, N.Y.

"It’s a really good community builder between the students and the outside Geneseo community," said MacKenzie, who majored in history.

MacKenzie said the Geneseo NRHH chapter also awarded many "Of the Month," or OTM, awards to recognize students’ hard work in several categories, including student, program, resident assistant, advisor, spotlight, executive board member, community and diversity.

"It’s about what can we do to recognize other people. It’s really about trying to make people feel better," MacKenzie said. The best part of NRHH, she said, was having the chance to say to other students, "You guys did an awesome job."

MacKenzie traveled with other Geneseo students in February to Western New England College in Springfield, Mass., for the regional conference and to pick up the college’s NEACURH award. Marinda Wyant ’04, who served as president of NRHH last year, wrote the majority of the award-winning bid, which outlined the activities the Blue Knights Chapter performed throughout the year, MacKenzie said.

Among those who went to St. Louis for the NACURH award were the outgoing and incoming presidents – Kristin Lesandro ’04 and Corinne Grinapol, respectively.

Vice President for Student and Campus Life Dr. Robert A. Bonfiglio said the award highlights one of the best aspects of campus life at Geneseo.

"Each year, Geneseo’s NRHH makes a significant contribution to the quality of the campus experience," Bonfiglio said. "As an honorary member of NRHH myself, I am thrilled to see the organization given this well-deserved recognition. The NRHH is one of the many reasons why Geneseo is such a special place."

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