First lady challenges GW students

Sept. 11, 2009 at 7:31 PM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- U.S. first lady Michelle Obama Friday challenged George Washington University students, faculty and staff to do 100,000 hours of community service this school year.

If they do, Obama said, she will speak at their commencement next spring.

The first lady issued her challenge while joining GW students at a United We Serve volunteer event at a Habitat For Humanity site in Washington to help kick off the school's first Freshman Day of Service. She picked up a paint brush and helped paint a room.

"What's taking place at The George Washington University is what United We Serve is all about," Obama said. "My challenge to the GW community is to make service a daily part of their lives."

GW President Steven Knapp said he is confident everyone will rise to the challenge.

"Service is a core value of the George Washington community," he said.

More than 2,000 undergraduates contributed 60,000 hours of service during the 2008-2009 academic year.

The university's commencement will be May 16.

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