WASHINGTON, D.C. - The University of Colorado at Boulder has risen on the Peace Corps' top 25 list of large schools producing Peace Corps Volunteers. With 102 alumni currently serving as Peace Corps Volunteers, CU-Boulder is No. 2 in the 2009 rankings. Since Peace Corps' inception, 2,157 alumni of CU-Boulder have served in the Peace Corps, making it the No. 5 all-time producer of volunteers.
The University of Washington holds the top rank for large schools, with 104 graduates serving as Peace Corps Volunteers. In the medium school category, George Washington University ranks No. 1, with 57 graduates serving. For small schools, the University of Chicago ranks highest, with 35 graduates currently serving as volunteers.
"This is a great honor for the University of Colorado at Boulder," said CU-Boulder Chancellor G.P. "Bud" Peterson. "It is also a tribute to the thousands of our students and alumni who, over two generations, have translated their idealism and desire to serve into the betterment of communities around the world."
CU-Boulder ranked No. 3 in the nation for the number of graduates serving as Peace Corps volunteers in the 2008 rankings, and ranked sixth on the all-time list of top-producing schools.
Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter praised all of the program's volunteers at colleges and universities across the country.
"The Peace Corps relies heavily on the graduates of contributing schools from across the country. The education and experiences add to the diversity of the Peace Corps and its success in the host countries," Tschetter said. "Currently, there are over 3,000 colleges and universities with alumni serving as Peace Corps Volunteers in 76 countries worldwide. We want to thank the schools and the graduates for their continued dedication to the mission of the Peace Corps."
The University of California, Berkeley maintains the No. 1 all-time rank, with 3,371 graduates becoming Peace Corps Volunteers since 1961. The University of Washington is now ranked second among the largest schools, with 2,848 graduates serving in the Peace Corps. Together, the schools have contributed to the Peace Corps' 16 percent increase in applications this year, the largest increase in five years.
Schools debuting on the Peace Corps' top 25 list for large schools were Ohio State University and the University of Virginia. Medium schools debuting on the top 25 list include the University of Notre Dame and the College of Charleston, among others.
Schools are ranked according to the size of the student body. Small schools are those with fewer than 5,000 undergraduates, medium-sized schools have between 5,001 and 15,000 undergraduates and large schools have more than 15,000 undergraduates.
The majority of volunteers who have served in the Peace Corps since its inception 47 years ago have been college graduates; however, it is not a requirement for service. Currently, 83 percent of volunteers have at least an undergraduate degree, with 9 percent of Peace Corps Volunteers having earned a graduate level degree.
As the Peace Corps approaches its 50th anniversary, its service legacy continues to promote peace and friendship around the world. Historically, over 195,000 volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries in which they have served. Applications to serve in the Peace Corps have increased 16 percent this past year, the largest boost in the last five years.
Currently, 7,876 Peace Corps Volunteers are serving in 76 countries. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment. To learn more about the Peace Corps, please visit www.peacecorps.gov.
To watch a video about CU-Boulder's long connection to the Peace Corps, visit the CU NewsCenter Web site at www.colorado.edu/news and click on the Peace Corps story. To listen to a podcast of CU Peace Corps campus coordinator Evan Taylor describing his volunteer experience in Africa, visit www.colorado.edu/news/podcasts/.