Black student holds a small shovel during volunteer landscaping work.

Student Orgs Make a Difference Through Service, Leadership

Spring at The University of Alabama is a busy time when students are honored for their academic achievements from the past year and a new class of graduates are ushered into the world.  It is also a time to recognize outstanding achievements outside of the classroom.

The annual Exemplo Capstone Awards honor the individuals and campus organizations for their service and leadership contributions within and outside the UA community. The awards are a collaboration of Office of Student Involvement, University Programs, the Center for Service and Leadership, the Student Center and Student Government Association.

Thirteen student organizations were recognized in their category for outstanding student engagement and contributions to the community. Praphull Kumar and Savannah Prefontaine were named the Will Byington Student Organization Officers of the Year. Dr. Lingyan Kong was named the John L. Blackburn Advisor of the Year.

Three white female students volunteer doing landscape work.
UA students volunteered in west Alabama communities during Big Days of Service events.

Student Orgs Offer Opportunity to Lead and Serve

Student organizations play an important part for student leaders and the campus overall, said Teneshia Arnold, director of student involvement.  

“On a campus with nearly 40,000 students, it is easy to feel lost and overwhelmed,” she said. “The student organization community helps students to find smaller communities to connect with and foster a sense of community and belonging.”

“With nearly 700 student organizations to choose from, UA students are bound to find a group that aligns with their interests and passion areas.”

These groups also support causes both on and off campus through fundraisers and donation drive.

More than 4,100 UA students clocked over 107,000 service hours since August 2023 through student-led action teams such as Beat Auburn Beat Hunger, which raised enough money to feed 272,000 families, and UA Miracle, which raised more than $233,000 for Children’s Hospital of Alabama.

UA’s service organizations aren’t only raising funds. They mentor children in local schools, build homes for their neighbors and volunteer through local nonprofit agencies to be where they are needed most. These efforts have made an economic impact of more than $3 million across west Alabama.

Check out the Center for Service and Leadership and the Office of Student Involvement to learn more about how students serve the UA community and beyond.


Jennifer Brady, UA Strategic Communications,