St. Ambrose University today graduates 680 students schooled in the university’s 131-year tradition of excellence, compassion and service.
The Davenport landmark is the college of choice for so many Quad-City students, we forget its international reach. Today’s commencement includes graduates from 164 Iowa and 129 Illinois towns, 14 states and five nations. These graduates march from today’s i Wireless Center commencement into a world desperate for their skills and civic commitment.
The St. Ambrose degree carries an ethic for service that is as much a part of the curriculum as literature classes. The university provides constant opportunities and encouragement for students to work in our community. Ambrose students gave 61,425 community service hours in the 2012 school year, according to the school’s recently released impact study. That volunteer work transforms neighborhoods and lives throughout the Quad-Cities, beginning with the lives of the graduates.
Thirty-eight percent of SAU alumni stay in the Quad-Cities, putting their education and service ethic to work in our schools, shelters, civic boards and elected offices. Today’s class is the latest in St. Ambrose gifts that keep on giving to our community.
Last year, St. Ambrose generated $188 million in business spending and paid salaries totaling $73 million for 1,913 jobs in the Quad-Cities. The university paid $356,000 in sales taxes and $2.8 million in property taxes throughout the region, with most going to Davenport.
Those big numbers impress, particularly from a non-profit that many mistakenly believe pays no local taxes. But the quantifiable financial impact is a tiny part of St. Ambrose’s annual gifts to our community. University-led community collaborations in health sciences, business, arts, faith and politics touch almost everyone.
We congratulate St. Ambrose University’s 2013 class, along with the faculty, administration and support staff whose work fills our community with graduates who know their education provides much more than just employment skills.