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A Growing Movement:
The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program
Historic Timeline


The Peace Corps establishes Fellows/USA and paves the way for returned Peace Corps Volunteers to support underserved American communities while pursuing their graduate education. The inaugural Fellows/USA program is established (PDF) by Teachers College, Columbia University and funded by the Xerox Corporation. Ronald Reagan commends Fellows/USA (PDF).


The United Nations honors Fellows/USA and the Peace Corps (PDF). "Nothing succeeds like success," Congressman Charles Rangel says of Fellows/USA in the Congressional Record (PDF).


The University of Texas–San Antonio establishes the second Fellows/USA program.


Thirteen new university partners join the Fellows/USA family for a total of 15 partners in 13 states and the District of Columbia: DePaul University, Florida International University, The George Washington University, Johns Hopkins University, Northern Arizona University, San Francisco State University, Temple University, Towson State University, University of Michigan, University of New Mexico, University of Southern California, University of Southern Mississippi, and Wichita State University.

Teacher Magazine features Fellows/USA (PDF): "An opportunity to share their international perspective in the classroom…. to have volunteers bring home their experiences from abroad and share them with fellow citizens." Mayor Dinkins of New York commends Fellows/USA (PDF).


Fellows/USA receives a DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund grant worth more than $1 million and receives $331,663 from the Knight Foundation (PDF). The University of Texas–El Paso joins the Fellows/USA family.


A record-breaking 200-plus returned Peace Corps Volunteers serve their communities as Fellows. Pacific Oaks College becomes a Fellows/USA partner.


Enrollment reaches 325 returned Peace Corps Volunteers. Fellows/USA partners with Boston University. Fellows/USA programs now span the disciplines of education, public health, small business development, rural economic development, and nursing. On March 9, Carol Bellamy, Peace Corps Director, inaugurates the first Fellows/USA program in rural economic development (PDF) with Illinois State University and Western Illinois University.


Loyola Marymount University, Michigan State University, University of Oregon, and University of South Carolina become Fellows/USA partners. "We are meeting a real need here at home," says Carol Bellamy, Peace Corps Director (PDF).


University of Maryland–Baltimore County and Carnegie Mellon University join Fellows/USA. Fellows/USA receives a $200,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to assist universities in developing institutionalization plans and evaluating effectiveness.


Santa Clara University, University of North Texas, Duquesne University, and The New School join the Fellows/USA network. The Peace Corps, the City of Pittsburgh Public Housing Authority, and Carnegie Mellon University jointly sign a Memorandum of Understanding (PDF), paving the way for leadership opportunities for Peace Corps Fellows in Pittsburgh.


Fellows/USA expands to Texas Southern University, Florida Institute of Technology, Southern New Hampshire University, and University of New Orleans.


Fellows/USA now embraces 29 university partners across the country. Marquette University becomes a Fellows/USA partner. "It has been three years of education wrapped up in 11 months": The Chicago Tribune features Fellows/USA (PDF) in a front-page article.


Arizona State University, California State University–Sacramento, George Mason University, University of Arizona, University of Wyoming, Western New Mexico University, Michigan Technological University, and University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee all become Fellows/USA partners.


While schools continue to expand their degree offerings, New Mexico State University and University of Denver become Fellows/USA partners.


Fellows/USA partners with Duke University, Fordham University, Seton Hill University, University of Cincinnati, University of Vermont, University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point, University of Maryland–Baltimore, Xavier University, Indiana University, Loma Linda University, and Rutgers University–Camden.


More than 400 returned Peace Corps Volunteers commit to serving their country in American communities through Fellows/USA. Georgia College and State University, Humboldt State University, University of Missouri–Columbia, and University of Missouri–Kansas City become Fellows/USA partners.


Kennesaw State University, University of Colorado Denver, University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, Drew University, Monmouth University, Bowling Green State University, University of Alabama–Birmingham, Cornell University, and University of Maryland–College Park join the Fellows/USA family. University of Cincinnati Fellows help renovate a local home to mark the Peace Corps' 47th anniversary.


University of Rochester partners with Fellows/USA.


University of Washington and the University of Notre Dame become part of the Fellows/USA family. Teachers College, Columbia University celebrates (PDF) a quarter century with Fellows/USA. The growing movement now embraces 54 partners in 28 states and the District of Columbia, with 512 Fellows currently enrolled.

Special 25th anniversary commemorative posters (PDF) issued to celebrate the achievements of thousands of Peace Corps Fellows.

Last updated May 06 2015