Skip to main content
Welcome to
super saver spring
offer ends april 20
save over $140
Sale ends in
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
Welcome to
super saver spring
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
save over $140
// //

Every Christmas while growing up, Allan Rock's parents volunteered at an orphanage, imparting a sense of community service in him.

Now, as president at the University of Ottawa, he wants to do the same for his students.

Canadian institutions have made learning and research the pillars of higher education. Mr. Rock has added a third pillar to his university. "It occurred to me that when we were preparing the plan for what the university wants to be that it would be important to put service to others … at the heart of our mission," he said.

Story continues below advertisement

The former Canadian politician and diplomat spearheaded the creation of a global and community engagement centre, which launched last October. Students, faculty and staff who walk into the centre can volunteer in a way that's designed to match their training, interests and talents. That could involve working at the local Ottawa mission, in an aboriginal community across the country, or helping the less fortunate in a developing country.

Aeroplan has created an account to allow alumni to contribute their unused miles toward financing a student's volunteering trip. And a scholarship, created by television personality and U of Ottawa graduate Alex Trebek, matches donations to offset travel and project costs for students. So far, more than 3,000 students are volunteering through the centre.

Mr. Rock hopes that at the end of their studies, students have not only mastered the curriculum, but have made community service a part of their lives. "What we hope to do is produce graduates who really feel as though they have internalized for their lifetime an ethic of service," Mr. Rock said. "We're trying to combine scholarship and social purpose."

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies