Both Washingtons top lists of schools producing most Peace Corps volunteers
By Colby Itkowitz
President Kennedy hands his brother-in-law, Sargent Shriver, a pen after signing legislation at the White House giving the Peace Corps permanent status in September 1961. Kennedy joshingly praised Shriver, head of the corps, as “one of the most effective lobbyists Washington has seen.” Rep. Roman Pucinski, (D-IL.), is at center.
Local colleges once again were among the top schools whose graduates became Peace Corps volunteers. But it’s the other Washington that produced the most Peace Corps members in 2014.
Schools in Washington State took the top spot across all undergraduate categories:
“The University of Washington reclaimed the top spot among large schools with 72 alumni currently in service, and Western Washington University and Gonzaga University again topped medium and small schools with 47 and 20 currently serving alumni, respectively,” the Peace Corps announced Wednesday.
In the medium-sized school category, which is between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates, Washington, D.C., area schools took the second and third slots. American University had 41 volunteers, and George Washington University tied the University of Virginia with 36 Peace Corp volunteers.
The University of California, Berkeley has produced the most Peace Corps volunteers, 3,598 in all, since John F. Kennedy established the corps in 1961.
In 2014, the Peace Corps began allowing applicants to choose the specific program and country where they’d most like to serve. This resulted in the largest applicant pool in 22 years, a more than 70 percent increase over the previous year.