Project Graduation was conceived and launched in 1998 at Burlington County College in
New Jersey as an opportunity to give back to the community while celebrating the new
beginning inherent in commencement ceremonies. The first food items collected for
Project Graduation went to local food banks while the books were given to the America
Reads Challenge. In 1999, Burlington County College and Delaware County Community
College developed, coordinated, and promoted this program nationally.
In March 2002, Phi Theta Kappa adopted Project Graduation as an international program
and promoted the program as an initiative to alleviate hunger and illiteracy. In the
program's initial year 283 chapters enrolled in the program, making its first year as
a Phi Theta Kappa service initiative a great success. The impact continues to grow as
2003 and 2004 were pinnacle years for Project Graduation participation and donations.
More than double the number of chapters enrolled in 2003 and donations increased by
250%. In 2004, Project Graduation reaches more than 500 communities and increased
donations by 109%. Read more about the success of this service