University of the Cumberlands (UC) will be hosting its first Pats Serve event on October 19. Pats Serve is a new initiative in which UC’s administration sets aside one day each semester for the UC family to provide community service to the local area.

Projects will include downtown beautification, river trail cleanup, community yardwork for the elderly, Sunday ministry service opportunities and community projects at Shawnee Drive and Briar Creek. Additionally, academic departments on campus can propose service projects relevant to their specific field of study, thereby integrating academics and service.

“Since our founding almost 130 years ago, this desire to provide service to our fellow man has always been a clear objective for the institution to instill in our students,” said Dr. Christopher Leskiw, Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Students aren’t being asked to join in only to complete a project, but to use that project as a way to serve others. We want the mindset of our students to include ways in which their skills and talents and what they’re learning in the classroom can make a lasting impact on the community around them.”

The goal of the program is to build relationships among all groups across campus in a culture of servant-leadership. Pats Serve will essentially serve as the umbrella organization for all service groups and opportunities on UC’s campus. Cumberlands’ administration hopes the initiative will bring all facets of student life – academics, athletics and community involvement – together to provide an inclusive service program for its entire student body.

“It has been a blessing to see the campus community come together for this initiative,” said Emily Coleman, Vice President for Student Services. “At its root this program is about service. We will have more than 750 faculty, staff and students collaborating to serve the greater Williamsburg community through Pats Serve.”

Pats Serve is one of the options UC students have for completing the community service portion of “UC Engage,” a course in which every UC student is enrolled their freshman, sophomore and junior years. Students may choose to complete service hours outside Pats Serve, if they want. The community service portion of UC Engage is in place to ensure that 100 percent of UC students get to experience serving others during their time at University of the Cumberlands.

University of the Cumberlands is grateful to those who have partnered with the institution to make Pats Serve a reality. Partners include: City of Williamsburg, Whitley County Fiscal Court, Williamsburg Independent School District, Cedaridge Ministries, First Baptist Church, Cornerstone Community Church, Immanuel Baptist Church, Main Street Baptist Church and Eastern Kentucky Pride.

Located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, University of the Cumberland’s is an institution of regional distinction offering quality undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and online degree programs. Learn more at