Indiana State University Newsroom

More than 1,300 students turn out for Donaghy Day

August 22, 2013

On their last day of summer break, more than 1,300 Indiana State University freshmen chose to spend their morning serving the Terre Haute area rather than sleeping in by participating in the university's 37th annual Donaghy Day.

Students met at Hulman Center where Heather Miklozek, associate director of the Center for Community Engagement, thanked them for their willingness to serve and emphasized the importance of Donaghy Day to ISU's commitment to community engagement. She said she hopes the students will continue to be involved in community service just "like [they] were in high school."

"You are in a new town and a new community and we want you to be involved," she said. "This is a strong tradition and now you're a part of it."

University President Dan Bradley also addressed the students and said he hopes that through campus events such as Donaghy Day, the freshmen will come to realize the importance of community at Indiana State.

"We want this to be the first of many opportunities for you to be involved on campus," he said.

Members of the class of 2017 proved their commitment to involvement and service learning with record-setting Donaghy Day attendance. This year 1,368 students volunteered their time, 151 more students than participated in 2012. Miklozek said the interest in serving shown during new student orientation as well as Donaghy Day attendance numbers set high expectations for the amount of community service the incoming class will provide and demonstrates that Sycamores "take service seriously."

Miklozek said students were seeking information about community service even before they arrived as full time students.

"We were posed a lot of questions in June through new student orientation of ‘I did this in my hometown, do you have this in Terre Haute?'" she said.

Freshman Caleb Ingram already knew of the many service opportunities available in the Wabash Valley. The nursing major from Terre Haute said he wants to better his hometown and thinks Indiana State students can help do that.

"We have a common goal to help our community and stick together," he said.

Evan Jennings, a freshman finance major from Effingham, Ill., also thought it was important for his class to give back to Terre Haute.

"It shows we care," he said. "We don't just think about ourselves and our education but we also care about our community."

Miklozek thinks that volunteering is an important aspect of students learning about the community in which they attend school.

"Students should approach this as their first opportunity to create their own life or their own culture," she said. "The first step is stepping off your front door, which is the campus in general, and learning about the city that you're in."

As students left Hulman Center and boarded busses that took them to various locations to serve their new community, Miklozek reminded them of the value all Sycamores place on serving.

"Service has a color," she said, "and that color is blue."

Photo: - Indiana State University students head out from Hulman Center for a morning of campus and community clean-up on Donaghy Day, Aug. 19, 2013. (ISU/Rachel Keyes)

Photo: - Students spruce up the area near Wabash Valley Goodwill during Indiana State University's Donaghy Day, Aug. 19, 2013. (ISU/Rachel Keyes)

Photo: - Students do some yard work along the National Road Heritage Trail in Terre Haute during Indiana State University's Donaghy Day, Aug. 19, 2013. (ISU/Sam Barnes)

Media contact: Heather Miklozek, associate director, Center for Community Engagement, Indiana State University, 812-237-8996 or

Writer: Emily Sturgess, media relations assistant, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3773 or