Peace Corps Jocks

Rachel Bachman in the WSJ published this article today. The Peace Corps’ Press Office provided the data. It was Mark Gearan, when he was the agency’s director, who began to provide colleges and news organizations this information, which has proven to be a valuable way of keeping the agency’s name in the news. Great idea, Mark!

Here is how Ms. Bachman used the information. Thanks to Mike McCaskey (Ethiopia 1965-67) for bringing the article to my attention.

Five-Star Recruits vs. Five-Star Humanitarians

By Rachel Bachman:

The Journal compared just-released rankings of universities by number of Peace Corps volunteers and’s rankings of the nation’s top football recruiting classes as of early Wednesday evening, signing day. The resulting list shows that Alabama doesn’t dominate everything.


Florida and Washington tied for the No. 1 spot with 107 former undergraduates serving in the Peace Corps. The Gators and Huskies also cleaned up in recruiting, with No. 8 and No. 14 rankings.

Notre Dame showed it can tackle third-world problems and quarterbacks, ranking No. 18 on the Peace Corps list of medium-sized schools and No. 5 on Scout.

But in Peace Corps service, two football powers are bottom feeders: Southern California (unranked, No. 17 in Scout) and Alabama (unranked, No. 3), which had 19 and 10 Peace Corps volunteers, respectively.

What about the actual Volunteers? Despite a 5-7 record on the gridiron last season, Tennessee produced a higher recruiting ranking (No. 32) than number of Peace Corps volunteers (22).


Some colleges excel at football, some at public service. But which schools can land top linebackers and graduate students who aim to help promote peace and friendship across the world?


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  • I would like to say that the fact that Colorado football is entering its 19th year of “rebuilding” has nothing to do with its high number of graduates entering the Peace Corps…except for maybe that one game where they lost 72 to 0.

    However, the Lady Buffs, CU’s Women’s Basketball Team is nationally ranked and does well. There are Lady Jocks, too.

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