BISMARCK, ND — In just three short years, University of Mary’s student-organized and -run Day of Service has become the state’s largest one-day volunteer event. And this year looks to be the largest yet with over 1,000 students, faculty and staff swarming the streets, businesses and organizations of the Bismarck-Mandan community.

University of Mary students help start the renovation process at the old Mandan Junior High during Day of Service 2015

University of Mary students help start the renovation process at the old Mandan Junior High during Day of Service 2015

“The University of Mary Day of Service is an extraordinary day for us as we come together as one community and dedicate an entire day to living out the Benedictine value of service,” said occupational therapy major Courtney Sibla, University of Mary student body vice president and native of Bismarck, ND, who is the lead coordinator of the event. “The Bismarck-Mandan community gives endlessly to the University of Mary in numerous ways and it is incredible to be able spend a day serving those who give us so much, as well as those in our community who are going through challenging or difficult times. I love this community and it warms my heart to see what a difference we can make in just one day. With everyone’s gift of time, talent and togetherness, we are aiming for 1,100 to 1,200 volunteers—and we think that mark will be met.”

The event begins Wednesday, Sept. 21 with a prayer service and rally at 8:30 a.m. in the McDowell Activity Center (MAC) before buses load up at 9:15 a.m. As part of the new Vision 2030 Campaign, University of Mary’s student body recommitted itself to becoming servant leaders of moral courage, providing a culture grounded in service, fostering a great capacity to pour themselves out in loving service to others. The new, campus wide Day of Service campaign that began in 2014 answers that pledge.

Serving others is a big part of the University of Mary’s mission since being founded in 1959 by the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery. Mary’s students take part in hundreds of service projects every year—from helping with homeless shelters in North Dakota to providing medical assistance in Guatemala and Peru.

With University of Mary classes cancelled for this annual event, students, faculty and staff will spread out to over 60 service projects ranging from repairing a building at Spirit of Life Junior High in Mandan, to picking apples around town with the Bismarck Cancer Center in order to break the world record for apple bobbing at this Year’s 10th Annual Applefest.


Day of Service Schedule

8:30 – 9:15 (MAC) Prayer service, convocation and University of Mary Vocal Jazz with keynote speaker Sister Nicole Kunze, prioress, Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery

9:15 – 9:30 (MAC) Buses load for morning service projects

9:30 (MAC) Buses depart

10 – Noon Morning service projects begin

11:30 – 1:30 (Outside of MAC) Lunch Provided by Dakota Community Bank

Noon – 12:30 (MAC) Buses load for afternoon service projects

12:30 – (MAC) Buses depart

1 – 3 Afternoon service projects begin

5:30 (Our Lady of the Annunciation Chapel) All University Liturgy

6:30 – 7:30 (University Dining Center) Coronation Meal

7:30 (Arno Gustin Hall) Homecoming Coronation

Following Coronation – (Chick’s Place) Coronation Celebration