Peace Corps Releases Annual List of Top Volunteer-Producing Universities and Colleges; Wisconsin, Colorado, Michigan Head 2000 List
January 28, 2000Washington, D.C., January 28, 2000—Peace Corps Director Mark L. Schneider today released the Peace Corps' annual list of the colleges and universities with the largest number of Peace Corps volunteers currently serving overseas.
For the second year in a row, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with 117 graduates currently serving, tops the 2000 list, followed by the University of Colorado-Boulder with 91 volunteers.
The University of Michigan, the site of President John F. Kennedy's speech in 1960 proposing the Peace Corps, jumped from fifth last year to third this year, with 78 volunteers. The University of Texas-Austin leaped from 15th to tied for fourth with Penn State University, which was 12th last year. Both have 72 graduates serving as volunteers. The University of California-Berkeley, which was 13th last year, rounds out the top five with 71 volunteers.
"Together, these colleges and the Peace Corps share a strong relationship," Schneider said. "We hope to continue this spirit as we work to recruit a new generation of Peace Corps volunteers who will be leaders in the 21st century."
David Ward, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said he is proud of his school's long-standing relationship with the Peace Corps. "The new rankings affirm our commitment in support for out-of-classroom learning. Many of the university's classes have an international focus, which helps to raise our students' global consciousness and their interest in serving overseas in the Peace Corps," Ward said.
The Peace Corps will be recruiting 400 more volunteers this year than last as it works to expand the number of volunteers to 10,000 over the next few years. Currently, more than 7,000 volunteers are serving in 78 countries around the world, working to help fight hunger, bring clean water to communities, teach children, help start new small businesses, and stop the spread of AIDS.
The Peace Corps also released the list of its top small colleges and universities, those with less than 5,000 undergraduates. American University in Washington, D.C. again holds the number one spot with 40 alumni currently serving, followed by Tufts University in Medford, Mass. with 25, Colorado College with 24, the University of San Francisco with 20, and Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Va. with 19.
In the nearly 39 years that the Peace Corps has been sending volunteers overseas, almost all have been college graduates. Today, 97 percent of Peace Corps volunteers hold at least a bachelor's degree, while 13 percent have a graduate degree.