Peace Corps Announces Top Volunteer-Producing Universities and Colleges; Wisconsin, Michigan, California Top Current List

March 4, 2002

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 4, 2002—Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez today released the names of the colleges and universities with the largest number of Peace Corps Volunteers currently serving overseas.

The University of Wisconsin at Madison, with 96 graduates currently serving, tops the list, followed by the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where John F. Kennedy first proposed the Peace Corps in 1960, with 76 volunteers, and the University of California at Berkeley with 70. The University of Texas at Austin comes in at number four with 69 volunteers. The University of Colorado at Boulder rounds out the top five with 64 of its graduates now serving in the Peace Corps.

“The Peace Corps has enjoyed a strong relationship with these great schools over the years,” said Vasquez, “and we are grateful for the on-going recruitment support provided to the Peace Corps by the faculty and staff. To support President Bush’s goal to double the number of Peace Corps Volunteers over the next five years and build upon the valuable humanitarian work of Peace Corps at home and abroad, we will be creating more opportunities for Americans to serve around the world and to bring those experiences back home.”

The Peace Corps also released the list of top 10 small colleges and universities, those with fewer than 5,000 graduates. Tufts University (MA) holds the number one spot with 23 alumni currently serving overseas, followed by Colby College (ME) and Middlebury College (VT), each with 22 graduates overseas; Johns Hopkins University (MD) and St. Olaf College (MN), each with 21, rank number three; Luther College (IA) and the University of Puget Sound (WA) each with 19 Volunteers. Completing the top five, Carleton (MN), Dartmouth (NH), and Smith (MA) colleges and Wesleyan University (CT) each have 18 alumni serving.

In the 41 years that the Peace Corps has been sending Volunteers overseas, almost all have been college graduates. Today, 95 percent of Peace Corps Volunteers hold at least bachelor’s degrees.

Since 1961, more than 165,000 Americans have served as Peace Corps Volunteers in 135 different countries around the world. Today, approximately 7,000 Volunteers are at work in 70 countries, sharing their skills and their culture, and demonstrating the lasting power of friendship.

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