Peace Corps Celebrates 40th Anniversary; Director Mark Schneider Visits University of Michigan to Commemorate Historic Speech by President Kennedy
October 6, 2000Washington, D.C., October 6, 2000—Peace Corps Director Mark Schneider will visit the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor on October 13-14, 2000, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Peace Corps.
On October 14, 1960, then-Senator John F. Kennedy articulated the need for a new type of international service at a late-night rally at the University of Michigan. On the steps of the Michigan Union, Kennedy issued a call for the students to serve, a concept that was translated into the Peace Corps. "How many of you who are going to be doctors, are willing to spend your days in Ghana? Technicians or engineers, how many of you are willing to work in the Foreign Service and spend your lives traveling around the world?" Kennedy asked his audience of students. "I think Americans are willing to contribute," he said. "But the effort must be far greater than we have ever made in the past."
President John F. Kennedy signed an executive order creating the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961. Since then, more than 161,000 Americans have joined the Peace Corps, serving in 134 nations. Currently, more than 7,000 Peace Corps volunteers are working in 76 countries to bring clean water to communities, help prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, protect the environment, help small business development, teach students, and train teachers.
Over 2,000 graduates of the University of Michigan have joined the Peace Corps, and hundreds will participate in the weekend's activities. Former volunteers have contributed photographs to the Peace Corps exhibition on view at the Michigan Union through October 22nd. This event kicks off a year-long celebration of the Peace Corps' 40th anniversary.
October 13, 2000 What:Candlelight Ceremony at the Michigan Union. University of Michigan alumni who served in the Peace Corps in the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s will make brief remarks. Schneider will deliver a keynote speech leading up to a reading of Kennedy's historic speech. When: 11:00 – 11:45 p.m. Where: Michigan Union, University of Michigan, 530 S. State Street, Ann Arbor
October 14, 2000 What: Homecoming Pre-Game Commemoration. Schneider will join the University of Michigan President Lee Bollinger and University of Michigan former Peace Corps volunteers on the 50-yard line for a special presentation. When: 3:20 – 3:30 p.m. Where: Michigan Stadium, University of Michigan, S. Main and Stadium Streets, Ann Arbor