For the first time in Loyola Marymount University history, the inauguration of a new president will include a weeklong celebration of service. Inauguration Service Week, Feb. 13-19, will send volunteers - students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of LMU and Loyola Law School - to work throughout the greater Los Angeles area. Three weeks later, on Tuesday, March 8, David W. Burcham will be installed as the 15th president of LMU.
"A change in presidential leadership is an excellent time for institutional reflection on where we've been and where we're headed," Burcham said. "I wanted my inauguration to highlight this important aspect of who we are as an institution, and that is a commitment to public service, and to promoting justice and creating men and women for others."
Student organizations are hosting more than 40 service events throughout the week, targeting homelessness, poverty and domestic abuse, as well as volunteering at schools, nursing homes and many other locations. In addition, alumni groups have organized volunteer activities in Orange County, San Francisco, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Portland, Hawaii, Denver, Chicago and New York.
"The idea of Inauguration Service Week is to build on the culture of service that exists at LMU," said Pam Rector, director of the Center for Service and Action and co-chair of the service week's planning committee. "Student groups submitted proposals to do service at their regular sites, but invited other groups to join them."
The culmination will be the President's Day of Service on Saturday, Feb. 19. Volunteers have the option to participate in one of four major projects, which include helping prepare and serve a barbecue meal to more than 2,000 homeless people at Midnight Mission in downtown Los Angeles; painting and building projects at Heart of Los Angeles, an after-school program that focuses on academics, arts and athletics; creating and helping upkeep habitats for animals at the STAR ECO Station; or repairing walls and other maintenance projects at Westchester High School.
"I am grateful that there is wide student involvement and support for this week of service," Burcham said, "and that just reconfirms in my mind how special the students here at LMU are and how honored I am to serve as their president."
Burcham was elected president of LMU on Oct. 4, 2010. He graduated from Loyola Law School in 1984 and, after seven years in public and private practice, he returned to the law school to teach. Burcham was appointed senior vice president and dean of the law school in 2000, and served in that capacity until he was named LMU's executive vice president and provost in 2008.
For a complete schedule of service opportunities, go to www.lmu.edu/inauguration