Loyola Marymount University’s “Week of Service” concluded Feb. 19 with hundreds of students, alumni, faculty and staff helping serve a hot meal to 2,000 homeless men, women and children at the Midnight Mission in downtown Los Angeles.

The Week of Service, which involved various community service projects, was held as part of LMU’s inauguration celebration for its new president, David. W. Burcham. Projects included hosting community cleanups at local schools, volunteering at hospitals, and helping out at dozens of non-profits in Los Angeles.

“Too often, the inauguration of a new president is seen only as a celebration for the campus,” said Burcham. “But we wanted to share this occasion with the rest of the city and highlight who we are as an institution and our commitment to public service.”

LMU officials said service to others is an essential element of the university’s mission, and every year members of the student body, faculty and alumni volunteer thousands of hours to nonprofit organizations around Los Angeles.

During this year’s service week, LMU volunteers racked up more than 5,500 hours participating in dozens of service projects, including painting and construction at the Heart of Los Angeles afterschool youth center, making Valentine’s Day cards for patients at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, collecting care packages for service members overseas, and tutoring students at Lennox Middle School, among others, officials said.

The service week culminated with the “President’s Day of Service” on Feb. 19, with four spotlight events, including the barbecue at the Midnight Mission.