NC Campus Compact
John H. Barnhill Civic Trailblazer Award
Created in 2011, the John H. Barnhill Civic Trailblazer Award, is awarded annually to a student at a NC Campus Compact member institution who, like Mr. Barnhill, demonstrates innovation in civic engagement, creating foundations that expand partnerships amongst communities, campuses, and individuals.
John Barnhill entered college with a passion for serving and a commitment to searching out and developing leaders. Devoting almost 30 hours a week in direct service while a student at Elon University, in 1989 he co-founded the campus’s Habitat for Humanity Chapter. Seeing the potential in each person, as well as the real needs in the community, John founded Elon Volunteers! (EV!) in 1990. EV! recruits and equips students to organize, plan, coordinate, and recruit fellow Elon students for local, national and international service. Today, over 20 years later, this program continues with over 100 EV! volunteers mobilizing students to volunteer over 100,000 hours annually.
John’s continued his commitment to utilizing civic engagement to develop students as campus and community leaders, and to address real needs upon graduating. He became Elon University’s first paid staff to coordinate volunteer service on campus, helping form the Office of Volunteer Programs. Under his leadership, the Office became the endowed, nationally recognized Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement. The Center facilitates partnerships with local and international communities, and advances student learning, leadership, citizenship, and volunteerism preparing them for lives of active community engagement. As one administrator shared, “John created the student leadership model for Elon, focusing students’ passions for service in productive ways to address community needs.”
In 1993 John broadened his vision, helping form North Carolina Campus Volunteers (NCCV), a statewide coalition of students and staff who unified volunteerism across the state. Through John’s guidance, NCCV created and hosted the first Student Conference 19 years ago. NCCV merged with NC Campus Compact when it formed in 2002, and the Compact has continued to host the yearly conferences. In 2002, John was selected serve as the founding Executive Director of North Carolina Campus Compact. During his four years in this role, he was able to help other campuses build their infrastructures to produce civically-engaged graduates and strengthen communities.
John is recognized not only for his personal service and leadership, but also as someone who built student confidence, engagement, leadership and impact. He reflects a genuine heart for students, helping them see their untapped potential and catch his passion for serving others. For these tireless efforts of Mr. Barnhill, NC Campus Compact is pleased to share the John H. Barnhill Civic Trailblazer Award with students reflecting the same commitments and impact.
For more information contact Leslie Garvin.