Now that there is talk and even some planning by the outgoing administration for a 50th reunion, I have notes from the 25th Anniversary Conference that was executed by the RPCVs of Washington, D.C. and a coalition of other groups, all chaired by Roger Landrum, (Nigeria 1961-63) and a guy name Doug Siglin (Zaire 1979-81) who was one smart organizer and might have been at one time the Director of the National Council of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, (as the NPCA was then ungainly called) if the Board of Directors had had any sense. As Roger told the crowd of RPCVs gathered under the huge tent on the Washington Mall, “We wanted to have this national anniversary conference in Washington to bring as many alumni together as possible. We told the Peace Corps that we were going to have some fun but we were not going to burn down the White House.”
Roger would rally the crowd with paragraphs of enthusiasm that predated the current MorePeaceCorps campaign by some twenty plus years. “We can build the Peace Corps back to 10,000 PCVs. (Remember this was 1986!) If we have Peace Corps alumni,” Roger said, “in every Congressional District in the U.S. contact their Congressmen by phone and ask them to report back how they vote on the Peace Corps budget, then within five years, we’ll have the budget for a Peace Corps of 10,000 Volunteers.”
Let’s remember, girls and guys, some good ideas have been around for awhile.