Forty Years Apart, Boston University Graduates Find Each Other While Serving as Peace Corps Volunteers
July 16, 1998Washington, D.C., July 16, 1998—Both Janice Britton and Anne Gingrich have many of the same life experiences. They are both serving as Peace Corps volunteers in the southern Africa country of Zambia. They both arrived in Zambia this past February. They both work in rural areas on health issues. And, they both graduated from Boston University. There is one big difference—they graduated more than 41 years apart.
Britton graduated from Boston University in 1956 with a master's degree in nursing service administration When Britton graduated, President Kennedy was still a Senator from Massachusetts, and there was no Peace Corps to join.
Still, Britton has spent most of her life working with organizations that make a difference in the world—the Committee to End Elder Homelessness, War on Want, a human rights and charity organization, and various HIV/AIDs organizations. At 76, when most people are retired and enjoying the easy life, she gave up the luxuries of the United States for the challenge of a lifetime.
While Britton waited 40 years to join the Peace Corps, Gingrich took the path of most Peace Corps volunteers and joined right after college. She graduated in 1997 as a political science major and a history minor. Her advisor, Professor Diana Wylie of the Boston Unive rsity History Department, was a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya.
Generations apart, Gingrich and Britton have found the common ground of friendship and camaraderie in the rural villages in Zambia. They are both still learning Bemba, the local language, and both are helping communities prevent malaria, malnutrition, and the spread of the HIV infection. With their Birkenstocks and African skirts, they have traveled a lifetime away from Boston University—together.