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GONZAGA UNIVERSITY NEWS RELEASE
Dale Goodwin, Director
Peter Tormey, Associate Director
|GU Moves up to No. 2 in Peace Corps Ranking|
Other Universities in state of Washington Also Highly Ranked
SPOKANE, Wash. – Gonzaga University moved up two spots into second place nationwide among peer institutions for producing Peace Corps volunteers as 32 Gonzaga alumni now serve the worldwide relief agency, the Peace Corps said Wednesday.
There are 1,192 institutions of higher learning currently represented by Peace Corps volunteers serving in 74 countries overseas. The University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash. – last year’s top producer of alumni volunteers in the small universities category with 30 – remains in the top five (No. 4) with 26 alumni volunteers.
The University of Washington once again tops the Peace Corps’ list of large undergraduate schools producing Peace Corps volunteers. With 113 alumni currently serving as volunteers, the UW remains ranked No. 1. The University of Wisconsin at Madison – the top producer of volunteers for more than 20 years until they were unseated by the University of Washington last year –retained second place among large universities with 99 alumni volunteers. While tied with the University of Michigan at No. 1 in last year’s annual graduate school rankings, the University of Washington has claimed that No. 1 spot all by itself this year with 17 alumni volunteers.
In the medium-size undergraduate schools category, Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash. edged Cornell University and is now the third-largest producer of Peace Corps volunteers with 53 alumni currently serving. In last year’s rankings, Western ranked fourth with 49 alumni volunteers.
Washington state has consistently been among the top producer of Peace Corps volunteers, the agency noted.
In a national ranking of overall numbers of Peace Corps volunteers by state, the state of Washington placed fifth with 363 volunteers currently serving, a 5.8-percent increase from the 343 volunteers that served last year. More than 7,900 volunteers from the state of Washington have served since the Peace Corps’ inception in 1961.
For every 100,000 Washington state residents there are 5.7 Peace Corps volunteers. These volunteers represent 4.5 percent of the total number of Peace Corps volunteers currently serving, the highest percentage among all states.
“The Peace Corps has been a success because volunteers bring such diverse experiences to their service,” said Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter. “Volunteers of all ages come from every corner of the United States, yet they all share a commitment to service in communities across the globe. For college graduates, the Peace Corps provides a unique opportunity to use their education and skills, and apply them in the real world.”
Though not a requirement for service, the majority of volunteers who have served in the Peace Corps since its founding have been college graduates. Currently, 95 percent of volunteers have at least an undergraduate degree, and 1 percent also hold a graduate degree. While volunteers must be at least 18 years old to serve the Peace Corps, there is no upper age limit for service. In fact, the oldest volunteer currently serving is 80.
To learn more about the Peace Corps experience and to get updates on available Peace Corps assignments worldwide, visit its Web site. Or, contact the Pacific Northwest regional office via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (800) 424-8580.
Without exception, every regional recruiter in the Pacific Northwest also has served as a Peace Corps volunteer and has firsthand knowledge of what it was like to go through the Peace Corps’ entire application, screening and selection process.
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