The Peace Corps, one of the best government institutions, celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. The whole purpose of the Corps is for America’s best and brightest to donate their time and knowledge to help people in other countries.
Since its inception by executive order in 1961, more than 200,000 young people have donated two years of their lives to development projects in more than 130 countries.
Just this past week the Peace Corps released a list of the top colleges whose graduates have joined the Peace Corps.
For campus and local community reporters, this is a gold mine of information about links between the college and the rest of the world.
Following are the top five colleges and universities in each undergraduate category, as well as the top graduate schools and a historical ranking. The numbers in parentheses represent the number of alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers.
LARGE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES:
More than 15,000 undergraduates
- University of Colorado Boulder (112)
- University of Washington (110)
- University of Wisconsin, Madison (107)
- University of Florida (101)
- University of Michigan (97)
MEDIUM COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES:
Between 5,001 and 15,000 undergraduates
- The George Washington University (78)
- Western Washington University (73)
- American University (63)
- Cornell University (58)
- University of Vermont (42)
SMALL COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES:
Less than 5,000 undergraduates
- University of Mary Washington (29)
- Gonzaga University (26)
- Oberlin College (24)
- St. Olaf College (24)
- University of Puget Sound (22)
- The Johns Hopkins University (22)
- Lewis & Clark College (22)
Number of graduate alumni volunteers
- University of Florida (30)
- University of Washington (24)
- University of Denver (16)
- American University (16)
- Tulane University (16)
HISTORICALLY (SINCE 1961)
Number of alumni volunteers
- University of California, Berkeley (3,497)
- University of Wisconsin, Madison (3,000)
- University of Washington (2,738)
- University of Michigan (2,458)
- University of Colorado Boulder (2,317)
It would be nice if the University of Michigan would step up the volunteer numbers a bit. After all, the whole idea for the Peace Corps was floated by then Senator John F. Kennedy during a presidential campaign speech in October 1960.
Click here for the complete list of schools and their rankings within the Peace Corps.