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August 20, 2009 - Grand Rapids, Michigan (August 20, 2009) - Aquinas College's traditional freshmen project, Project Unite, as been redesigned to focus on the importance of teamwork, community, and service. Along with the students, Aquinas faculty and staff will spread out to the twelve areas selected to benefit from the students' volunteer efforts. Community organizations and businesses have partnered with Aquinas this year in order to assist the area with repairs and clean-up in the neighborhoods.

At 1:30 p.m. on Friday, August 21, Aquinas alumna Elissa Sangalli Hillary, executive director of Local First, will speak at the soccer field to the volunteers about community service before they head out to their various service projects. Approximately 20 students will be assigned to each project.

The 2009 total of new students (including freshmen, transfers and nursing students) is 543, the second largest total of new students. The total number of freshmen and transfers is 486, encompassing the third largest freshmen class in Aquinas history. Aquinas received a record number of applications for admission this year.