Servire – To Serve

East Carolina University’s motto is Servire – “To Serve.” In honor of ECU’s Centennial, the Servire Society recognizes those who have demonstrated a commitment to volunteer service and will challenge the ECU community to serve the larger community external to the university.


Each year, the Servire Society recognizes faculty, staff, and students who have contributed 100 or more hours of volunteer service to the community in the previous year. For calendar years 2020 and 2021, the requirement was reduced to 50 hours because of Covid-19 complications; for the 2023 calendar year, the hourly requirement is 100 hours of volunteer service once again.  The community is defined as outside of ECU and can include the region, country, or world. The year is defined as January 1st to December 31st. Qualifying volunteer service for faculty and staff should be outside their normal realm of duties. For faculty, the service should be outside their normal duties of teaching, research, and advising. In all cases, there should be no compensation for the service.

For purposes of clarity, volunteerism is defined as choosing to act in recognition of a need, with an attitude of social responsibility and without concern for monetary profit, going beyond one’s basic obligations. (Ellis and Noyes, 1990).

ECU works with religious institutions and supports some church-sponsored projects. However, as a state institution our policy is: ECU does not promote, discourage or discuss religion. ECU also does not discriminate. Volunteer activities which are sponsored by churches or faith-based organizations qualify for membership in the Servire Society as long as they fall within our policy. Some examples of activities which would not qualify for membership in the Servire Society are: a) engaging in religious instruction, b) conducting worship services, c) providing instruction as part of a program that includes mandatory religious instruction or worship, d) engaging in any form of religious proselytizing.

Examples of eligible outreach and community service activities include:

  • Direct service to the community (for example, tutoring, mentoring, assisting non-profit organizations like the Humane Society, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association)
  • Inspiring, encouraging, and involving others in service through mentorship and through the creation of opportunities for service (for example setting up an emergency relief center, providing leadership in public programming)
  • Responding to a concern, issue, emergency, or need of the community external to the university (disaster relief, critical health issues)


Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to nominate individuals eligible for this recognition. Self-nominations also are encouraged. The nominee will be asked to complete a brief online information form so that the service may be verified. The form will ask for a list of service activities for the last twelve months including the following information:

  • Dates of service
  • Name(s) of organization(s)
  • Nature of involvement (i.e., a description of the activity, purpose, etc.)
  • Number of hours at each organization
  • Contact information for someone with each organization who can verify that the above information is correct


A reception will be held yearly to honor and recognize Servire Society members. All members will receive a token of appreciation for their service, including a certificate and Servire medal and yearly pin.


Membership in the Servire Society is for a period of one calendar year. Membership for subsequent years must be earned by participating in 100 or more hours of service each year.

Application Timeline

Applications are due on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024.

Applicants will be notified in early Spring and will be given details about receiving their award at the University Awards for Service ceremony.  The date for the 2024 awards event will be Mon, April 8.

Online Application


If you have questions about the Servire Society, contact Dr. Dennis McCunney, director of intercultural affairs. To view the service opportunities calendar, visit for more information.