Community Involvement

Inspires the best in all of us

Ambrosians don't talk about changing the world 'someday.' We act, we share, and we transform – today.

We give our time and contribute our talents because it is a driving element of who we are.

We spark conversations and build relationships with people who enrich us with treasured lessons about life, struggle and triumph.

Service strengthens our community, our world, and ourselves.

Service at SAU

Uplifting dance moves

$1.39 million

Raised by SAU Dance Marathon Since 2013

Our impact is larger because we unite in service. Each year, hundreds of SAU students pour their heart and soul into 13 hours of dance. It's a reflection of their noble drive to support children battling tough medical challenges. Since 2013, SAU Dance Marathon has raised more than $1.3 million for Children's Miracle Network and the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital.

SAU Dance Marathon Video 2019

Making a Difference

students on barge

Our students volunteer here – and across the world – typically giving more than 178,000 service hours each year. Whether it's a service project with your club, classmates, or the entire campus, showing compassion and love to others is at the core of everything we do.


Learning to Be the Change

In Fall 2016, several First-year students united in a learning community that focused on "Be the Change: Learning and Serving in the Community and World."

They also served as mentors to elementary students at Rock Island Academy in Rock Island, Illinois, and teens at Glenview Middle School in East Moline, Illinois.

Learning Communities

students on barge

Taking Ambrosian Service on the Road

Many SAU students exchange their time for a traditional spring break trip to serve communities, families, and the environment.​

Ambrosians made an impact in Memphis

Service Becomes Part of You

"Being surrounded by and involved in [service], it became part of you," said Sarah Treat '17, '19 MPAS. "You expect that of yourself. I will leave SAU confidently educated and equipped with a thirst for righteousness, humility, and courage."

Read more about Sarah's service experiences

Bee the Difference

We make an impact on campus and in the community. In 2018, more than 600 students took part in Bee the Difference Day and helped 120 campus neighbors get their yards ready for winter. It is work, fun – and so rewarding.

Community Programs

While many good things happen in our classrooms and on our campus, St. Ambrose University students, alumni, faculty and staff are part of making good things happen in the Quad Cities community.


During a typical academic year, Ambrose students volunteer more than 178,000 service hours to local projects and organizations ranging from the campus Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America chapter to building a house for a local family, raking a neighbor's yard, and helping the disabled experience waterskiing.

Students coordinate semi-annual campus blood drives and raise funds for organizations such as the March of Dimes, American Cancer Society, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and Scott County Special Olympics. They also take service trips to places that include:

  • Inner-city Chicago
  • East St. Louis
  • Appalachia
  • New Orleans
  • India
  • Ecuador
  • Ireland

Every Ambrose athletics team completes at least three service projects a year, often with community youth. Each Christmas, student-athletes deliver gifts and play Santa for children at Madison Elementary School. Other teams serve dinner once a month at a local soup kitchen and host local school children on campus to teach them a sport.

Faculty and Staff

Our faculty and staff share their skills and talents through board service and volunteer activities. At least half of our faculty members serve on at least one community board or advisory committee, and almost 10% serve on four or more. Almost two-thirds volunteer for a community organization.

Overall, service by Ambrose faculty and staff has assisted 114 different organizations, including:

  • CASI
  • Hand in Hand
  • Rebuilding Quad Cities Together
  • Davenport East Little League
  • Camp Shalom
  • Scott County Regional Authority
  • Local churches
  • School Boards
  • Parent-teacher organizations

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? Click on the visit button below to learn more about our virtual and in-person visit options.