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GONZAGA UNIVERSITY NEWS RELEASE
Dale Goodwin, Director
Peter Tormey, Associate Director
|GU No. 4 Producer of Peace Corps Volunteers|
SPOKANE , Wash. — Gonzaga University ranks No. 4 among peer institutions nationwide for producing alumni who become Peace Corps volunteers as 27 Gonzaga alumni currently serve in the worldwide relief agency, the Peace Corps recently announced.
Since the inception of the Peace Corps in 1961, 237 Gonzaga alumni have joined the ranks of the Peace Corps, a 27-month commitment to service either at home or abroad. Gonzaga has been among the leaders in volunteers for many years, and was ranked No. 4 last year as well.
The service orientation seems to have caught fire in Washington state, which impacts the top of the list. The University of Wisconsin-Madison, the top producer of Peace Corps volunteers for the previous two decades, was overtaken as the top volunteer school this year by the University of Washington, which has 110 alumni currently serving. In fact, all three of this year’s top producers are new to that spot. In the small schools category, Tacoma, Wash.-based University of Puget Sound also jumped four spots to the top.
In the medium-sized schools category, George Washington University vaulted four spots to No. 1.
In the large schools category, University of Wisconsin-Madison remains a close second to Washington with 106 volunteers, followed by the University of Colorado-Boulder with 100. In the second annual graduate school rankings, the University of Michigan finds company at the top with the University of Washington; both schools have 20 graduate school alumni serving.
“Peace Corps allows graduates to take their skills outside the classroom and make a real difference in the lives of people who can most use their help,” said Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter. “The over 1,200 institutions of higher learning that have volunteers overseas, sharing what they have learned, should be proud of their contributions.”
Overall, University of California-Berkeley has produced the most Peace Corps volunteers since 1961 with 3,282. This year, the University of Colorado-Boulder became the sixth school to surpass 2,000 volunteers and is poised to move into the No. 5 historical spot overall.
The most new entries this year include the University of Pittsburgh at No. 15 on the large schools list, Miami University of Ohio at No. 12 on the medium-sized schools list, and Butler University at No. 15 on the small schools list. The most impressive movers this year include Arizona State University, which moved up 16 spots to debut at No. 19 on the large schools list; Northern Arizona University, which moved up 10 spots to No. 10 on the medium-sized schools list; and Carleton College, which jumped from No. 20 to No. 2 on the small schools list.
Other schools debuting or re-entering this year’s list include: the University of Georgia (No. 19) and the University of California-San Diego (No. 24) on the large schools list; Clemson University (No. 21), Appalachian State University (No. 23), California State University-Chico (No. 23), the University of Rhode Island (No. 23) and Washington University in St. Louis (No. 23) on the medium-sized schools list; and St. Mary’s College of Maryland (No. 18), Bucknell University (No. 21), Pepperdine University (No. 21), Beloit College (No. 24), Clark University (No. 24) and Elon College (No. 24) on the small schools list.
Schools are ranked according to the size of the student body. Small schools are those with less than 5,000 undergraduates, medium-size schools are those between 5,001 to 15,000 undergraduates, and large schools are those with more than 15,000 undergraduates.
To view the entire “Peace Corps Top Colleges 2007" list, please visit the Peace Corps Web site.
Although it is not a requirement for service, the majority of volunteers who served in the Peace Corps the past 45 years have been college graduates. Currently, 93 percent of volunteers have at least an undergraduate degree, and 12 percent of those also possess a graduate degree. The Peace Corps also has also enjoyed the support and interest of high school and community college graduates over the years.
The Peace Corps is celebrating a 45-year legacy of service at home and abroad. Since 1961, more than 187,000 volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries where volunteers have served. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age.