Campus Museum of Service
While we acknowledge there are numerous ways to recognize and celebrate service, the Office of Leadership and Community Engagement is excited to offer the Campus Museum of Service as one of those opportunities. This form of recognition allows us to elevate the simultaneous impact of our various communities while advancing our commitments to service.
In 2021 the Office of Leadership began to include guest speakers with a passion and reputation for service as part of National Volunteer Month. The next year, a partnership was established with the Office of Alumni Relations to bring in alumni speakers who carry this passion. See speakers, and in some cases links to their speeches, below.
Lana Wachniak, Ph.D. (’73) and William Wallace, Jr. (81)
Retired – Bill and Lana are known as a “twofer,” that is, “an item that comprises two items but is sold for the price of one.” Together, they are team builders, project creators, and community supporters who work with others to bring dreams to fruition.
Talk: When a Little is Enough
The event that became the launching pad for their lifelong community service involvement was Lana’s creation of Homelessness Awareness Week (HAW) at Kennesaw State University. HAW incorporated weeklong educational activities culminating in a two-night Sleep-Out simulation of homelessness. This activity developed out of her desire to encourage civic engagement in students through awareness, education, and action. After meeting and talking with a student who was an unknown homeless veteran, they established the Triumph Scholarship at Kennesaw State University for a student who is, or who has been homeless. During the last 2 years they established 2 Triumph Scholarships at Georgia Southern and they recently learned that there were over 160 applications for year 2 of the first scholarship.
Lana and Bill are “ambassadors” for the Orange Duffel Bag Initiative (ODBI). This organization assists foster and homeless children who have been accepted into a technical college or a unit of the University System of Georgia. In December 2015, they created and endowed a fund to provide emergency funding for these students who incur unexpected costs while attending college. Their endowed fund is one the first of its kind in the country that allows students to remain in college to complete their higher education goals.
Lana is a commissioner on the Regional Commission on Homelessness and has served on the United Way initiative allocation for homelessness committee and served as a board member of the Cobb County United Way. She conducts annual professional development workshops for the Salvation Army’s Red Shield and other non-profits in the Atlanta metropolitan area on topics of cultural diversity and generational places and spaces.
Bill is past chair of the Cobb County United Way Board. He keeps the back seat of their car stocked with bags of food and books for people that they see on the streets who appear to be in need. Today, Lana and Bill serve as Board Members for the College of Behavioral Sciences at Georgia Southern University.
Dennette Thornton (’01)
Director of Group Sales and Stadium Tours/Operations for Arthur M. Blank Sports and Entertainment
Talk: Volunteering with Purpose: Do What Matters to You!
Mia Talks Media & Marketing, Owner
DBC Radio: Program Director G100 Savannah
Public Service Director, Radio Personality
Talk: Living Outside of Yourself
Congratulations to the 2023 Honorees!
April is National Volunteer Month and as we continue to reflect on the various ways our intertwined communities support each other, we want to take a moment to recognize the 2023 Honorees of the Campus Museum of Service. The Georgia Southern mission statement begins with “…our learner-centered culture prepares us to think, lead, teach, and serve” and ends with “Our success is measured by the global impact of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni.” Of course this includes our community partners.
The Campus Museum of Service provides an outlet to share stories of how our counterparts contribute within and beyond the classroom walls. This class of honorees represents students, staff, faculty, community partners, and alumni who continue to impact our various communities.
Please visit our physical Campus Museum of Service currently in the Henderson Library, second floor, on the Statesboro campus. It will transition later in the month for display on the Armstrong campus. If you are unable to visit us in person, click the button the below to read more.
You may nominate yourself, a student, faculty / staff, alumni, or community partner member for recognition in the Campus Museum of Service by clicking the button below.
Must be affiliated with the university in some manner (i.e. student, faculty/staff, alumni, or community partner)
Narrative (limit of 300 words) addressing the following questions:
- Describe how they positively impact the community
- Identify the community efforts this person is involved in
- Share how this person advocates for the community
- Explain how this person inspires others to serve the community
- Describe how this person’s contributions support the longevity of the University’s strategic pillar towards community engagement
Last updated: 4/19/2023