Civic Engagement


The Oglethorpe tradition of public service goes all the way back to James Edward Oglethorpe: founder of the colony of Georgia, fighter of oppression, historic humanitarian, and of course, our namesake. Since 1835, we’ve been searching for ways to make a positive impact on our world. Today, service is the thread connecting everyone at Oglethorpe – and it’s woven tight.

J-term service learning in Atlanta, January 2023

Faculty and students during a service learning excursion J-Term 2023

One practical way we show our dedication to service is our highly competitive Civic Engagement Scholarship. This four-year, full-tuition award is offered annually to as many as three incoming seniors who’ve demonstrated the same values in their high school careers. At Oglethorpe, these scholars lead their classmates in service projects both on campus and in the community.

Our Community is Atlanta… and THE WORLD

hands-on-learning-2At Oglethorpe, you can find a unique experience for learning and growing, through service-learning courses that join academic rigor with community involvement. Environmental Studies students hit the textbooks – and then the trails. Cancer Cell Biology students gain deeper perspectives through hands-on work with patients. Theatre students stir up some local drama… in a good way.

You can also turn your spring or winter break into something more meaningful, through university-organized service trips: like a weekend in Alabama studying the Civil Rights movement and restoring a community center, or a week spent volunteering in a village in Guatemala.

Less Lip-Service, More Days of Service

At Oglethorpe, we don’t just talk the talk; we walk the walk. One example: our annual Orientation Day of Service, which brings freshmen face-to-face with the community and offers more ways to make a difference. Last year, three hundred students rolled up their sleeves and got to work at fifteen organizations across Atlanta: