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Honors College Spring Service Project Allows Students and Faculty to Interact

On Saturday, about 70 Honors students, faculty, and staff teamed up to clean up the Old Lutheran Cemetery in Old South Baton Rouge, the oldest African-American cemetery in the city as part of the sixth annual Honors College Spring Service Project.

According to Dr. Babcock, Associate Dean of the Honors College, the site for the project was chosen in January by Baton Rouge Metro Councilwoman Tara Wicker of District 10 as part of the beautification and renewal project in her district. 

The other community partner who helped to arrange the service project was Campus Federal, who facilitated the connection between Wicker and the Honors College to make the clean up possible.  They also provided lunch to the students and faculty. 

“It was amazing how incredibly overgrown the cemetery was — it hadn’t been taken care of in a long time, but it was a really cool place,” said Rachel Goodly, an Honors accounting sophomore. “A couple people working there said that their family members were buried back there, and that they weren’t able to get back in the cemetery to visit their family, so they were happy that we were there to fix it up.”

Lawn equipment for the project was provided by Joseph Ard Jr., the supervisor at the Department of Public Works and Derrick Johnson with LSU Facility Services.   

Goodly, a second-year LASAL student, said that the Honors College Spring Service Project allowed her to meet other Honors students while also providing a valuable service to the Baton Rouge community. 

“I like meeting new Honors students, because they’re all smart and interesting people,” she said.  “I also liked sharing my college experience with the freshmen, because they’re going through some of the same things I was going through last year … it was a rewarding experience.”

The Honors College Spring Service Project is linked to the learning outcomes for Honors 2000, and also to the Honors College freshman theme of service. 

“None of this would have been possible without the collaboration between Councilwoman Wicker and Blain Grimes with Campus Federal,” said Babcock. “For me, it’s always inspiring to see our students doing something for the community and working hard to accomplish a specific goal.”