Student Volunteer Services
The motto of PC is Dum Vivimus Servimus, or While We Live We Serve.
This motto is demonstrated by the campus community in countless ways, both through everyday interactions and specific programs to serve others. PC students logged about 35,000 service hours last year. Check out the Student Volunteer Services and CHAMPS pages to learn more!
Since it was established in the early-1960s, Student Volunteer Services (SVS) has been regarded as one of the signature ministries at PC. SVS is a student-run organization that provides a variety of service opportunities. This student-led organization helps many in need in the community by offering nearly 20 different programs, including those relating to youth, the elderly, churches, and social issues. These include both local programs and nationwide initiatives.
The Student Volunteer Services, or SVS, at Presbyterian College, allows students to fulfill PC’s motto, “Dum Vivimus Servimus” meaning While We Live, We Serve. In the mid 1960s, Dr. Jack Renard Presseau, author of While We Live, We Serve: the Student Volunteer Service Movement of Presbyterian College and creator of PC’s Christian-Education Program, founded SVS here at PC and points out that PC’s motto “is a succinct version of founder William Plumer Jacob’s motto to do ‘great things…for God.’ Student Volunteer Service is the incarnation of both mottos.” The SVS program offers PC students, faculty, and staff numerous opportunities to fully embody these mottos by getting involved in serving the community on and off campus.
Currently, SVS supports ten different service programs that are divided into two categories of ongoing programs and one-time events. The ongoing programs include Thornwell Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Thornwell Adopt-a-cottage, Habitat for Humanity, Presbyterian Community, Presby Pals, and Christ Central Ministries. These ongoing programs are supported by SVS all year long. For example, students involved in the Thornwell Big Brother/Big Sister Program, and the Presbyterian Community volunteer on a weekly basis. Essentially, SVS allows students to get involved not only on PC’s campus but also in the Clinton community.
In addition to supporting local programs, SVS raises awareness and support for nation-wide organizations. These one-time events supported by SVS include Special Olympics, Up ‘Till Dawn, Relay for Life, Delete Blood Cancer, and MLK Service Day. While the majority of these events only occur once or twice a year, students work extremely hard to coordinate these events year-round. According to Rachel Parson-Wells, Director of Religious Life and Service, “The level of passion that PC students have for service and the support from faculty is incredible. It really contributes to
the culture of our small-knit community. The support system at PC is truly special—a bond that you won’t be able to find anywhere else.”
Essentially, SVS is more than a student-led volunteer club—it’s a way to embody PC’s motto and learn the unique art of helping others. Through SVS, students obtain skills that can utilize for a lifetime in their future communities beyond PC. Alumnae and former SVS Director, Lauren Bazemore says, “Over the past 4 years, I have adopted the mindset that I want to contribute to sustaining PC’s legacy in some small way. I have discovered that the best way to preserve such a meaningful legacy of caring for others is by actively volunteering myself and making it a personal priority—SVS has allowed me to do just that.”
“They are part of SVS—reminding everyone that Dum Vivimus Servimus is more than a motto.” –Dr. Jack Renard Presseau