Details on the University of Michigan Events For the 50th Anniversary, Beginning in 2010


Looking forward to this year’s 50th anniversary, the university is planning many events, including a national symposium on the future of international service and a commemoration of Senator John F. Kennedy’s speech on the steps of the Michigan Union. Sign up for email event updates »

The events that have been planned to date include:

•·         October 11-21, 2010

“As I See It” Photo Competition

Michigan Union Lobby, Beanster’s at the Michigan League, and the Piano Lounge in Pierpont Commons

In honor of the Peace Corps’ 50th anniversary, “Peace” is the theme for October’s “As I See It” photo competition. Students should submit photos by October 7. The exhibit will be up from October 11-21. Cast your vote for your favorite photo on-line through the Arts At Michigan website or in any of the three Unions, and help a student photographer win cool prizes! All current University of Michigan students are eligible. Sponsored by Arts At Michigan and University Unions, Arts & Programs. More information about submissions and voting is at

•·         October 13, 2010

National Symposium: The Future of International Service

8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Blau Auditorium Ross School of Business

This symposium focuses on new initiatives and policies related to global service and kicks off a year-long series of events across the nation that will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps. This event is sponsored by U-M, the Brookings Institution, and the National Peace Corps Association, with support from the Building Bridges Coalition. Registration required; Web streaming available.

Featured speakers and event details »

•·         October 13, 2010

Paul Theroux: How the Peace Corps Changed My Life

7 p.m. Hatcher Library

The American travel writer and novelist will discuss the impact of the Peace Corps on his life. Sponsored by LSA Theme Semester (“What Makes Life Worth Living”), Hatcher Graduate Library, and the International Center.

Read Paul Theroux’s “The Lesson of My Life” »

•·         October 13/14, 2010

Challenges and Opportunities of International Service: A Student Symposium

10 p.m. Oct 13 – 2 a.m. Oct 14 Michigan Union

This student organized and led symposium will address issues and challenges related to student engagement, activism and service, both at home and abroad. It will culminate with a ceremony on the steps of the Union at 2:00 a.m. at the same time and place JFK spoke 50 years earlier.

•·         October 14, 2010

First Ceremony on Michigan Union steps

2 – 2:30 a.m. Michigan Union steps

Program will include audio of JFK’s speech followed by remembrances of those who were there on the steps the night of October 14, 1960. Special guest speaker will be Dr. Alan Guskin, student leader in 1960 who with others advocated for the creation of the Peace Corps.

•·         October 14. 2010

Second Ceremony on Michigan Union steps

11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Michigan Union steps

Participate with special guests in the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of JFK’s speech that led to the creation of the Peace Corps. Special guest speakers include former Kennedy aide and architect of the Peace Corps, Sen. Harris Wofford; Jack Hood Vaughn, second director of the Peace Corps and U-M alumnus; and Aaron Williams, current director of the Peace Corps.

•·         October 1 – November 30, 2010

U-M and the Peace Corps

Normal library hours – Hatcher Library

Enjoy an archival exhibit of U-M student and faculty involvement in the creation of the Peace Corps. As Sargent Shriver said, “It might still be just an idea but for the affirmative response of those Michigan students and faculty.”

•·         October 14, 2010

Spending Your Days in Ghana: Responding to JFK’s Challenge

1:30 – 5 p.m. Symposium: Pendleton Room, Michigan Union, Reception: UMMA

JFK asked, “How many of you who are going to be doctors are willing to spend your days in Ghana?” Learn about the U-M’s long history-and exciting future-in Ghana and how both Ghana and U-M have benefited from partnerships in a number of fields including medicine, engineering, technology and museum studies. This symposium and reception in UMMA are sponsored by the Medical School.

•·         October 14, 2010

Reception for U-M Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs)

4:00 – 5:30 p.m. Michigan Union Anderson Room

U-M alumni who are Returned Peace Corps Volunteers will be special guests at a reception honoring all U-M alumni for their service to others. This event is sponsored by the U-M Alumni Association.

•·         October 15, 2010

History of the Peace Corps: From the Michigan Union Steps to the Present

1:00 – 2:30 p.m. Hatcher Library

Hear an eyewitness account of JFK’s speech and the campus events that followed leading to the creation of the Peace Corps, and then hear about the growth and development of the Peace Corps over the past fifty years. Co-presenters are Alan Guskin (U-M alumnus and RPCV-Thailand), Jody K. Olsen (former Deputy Director of the Peace Corps, RPCV and Visiting Professor at the U. of Maryland), and Stanley Meisler (former Peace Corps staff member and author of When the World Calls: The Inside Story of the Peace Corps and Its First Fifty Years).

•·         October 15, 2010

Peace Corps Authors

3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Hatcher Library

U-M alumni who wrote books and or poetry about their Peace Corps experience will discuss the affect and impact of the Peace Corps on their writing. Presenters will include Terry Sack (Bolivia 1963-65); Jan Worth-Nelson (Tonga 1976-78); and John Flynn (Moldova 1993-95).

•·         October 15, 2010

Happy Hour for RPCVs and Their Families and Friends

5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Dominick’s on Monroe Street

•·         October 16, 2010

Tailgate Party

(prior to football game) President’s Venue

U-M alumni who are Returned Peace Corps Volunteers are invited to join President Mary Sue Coleman at her tailgate party prior to U-M’s Homecoming game. For information about ordering tickets, contact John Greisberger by email at:

•·         October 16, 2010

Football Game and Half-Time Program

Michigan Stadium

U-M-affiliated Returned Peace Corps Volunteers will be recognized at half-time during the Homecoming football game. For information about ordering tickets, contact John Greisberger by email at:

•·         October 1 – 31, 2010

Peace Corps Photo Exhibit

Normal Union hours, Michigan Union

Enjoy a photo exhibit featuring five decades of U-M alumni experiences in the Peace Corps.

•·         October 19 and 26, and November 2 and 9, 2010

Film Series on International Development

7:00 p.m. North Quad

Issues, problems, successes and failures of international development will be explored through films followed by discussion. Once in Afghanistan is a film about the work of female Peace Corps vaccinators and its impact on them and Afghans (Oct. 19). Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai is the inspiring story of the Green Belt Movement and its Nobel Laureate founder (Oct. 26). End of the Rainbow is about the impact of gold mining in Guinea (Nov. 2). Poto Mitan is the story of five Haitian women who struggle against huge obstacles to create change through collective action (Nov. 9). This program is co-sponsored by the Global Scholars Program, LS&A Theme Semester and the International Center.

•·         October 27, 2010

Swords into Plowshares: Peace Corps Service in Eastern Europe and Eurasia

12:00-1:30 p.m. 1636 International Institute/School of Social Work Building

U-M graduate students and staff will discuss their Peace Corps experiences in Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Presenters include: Rutherford Hubbard, master’s student in Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies/JD student in law and RPCV (Armenia 2006-08); Mahima Mahadevan, master’s student in public policy and RPCV (Kyrgyz Republic 2004-06); William Nash, immigration specialist(International Center) and RPCV (Ukraine 2001-03); and Maria Smith, master’s student in Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies/public policy and RPCV (Azerbaijan 2006-08). This event is sponsored by the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies and the International Policy Center at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

•·         October 28, 2010

Sarah Chayes: Penny W. Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series

5:10 p.m. Michigan Theater

Author Sarah Chayes’ presentation is part of the Penny W. Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series. Ms. Chayes is a former Peace Corps Volunteer and NPR reporter. She has lived in Kandahar, Afghanistan since 2002 where she has established a number of cooperatives to help local farmers. She will discuss the current dilemma in Afghanistan and a plan for its resolution. This program is sponsored by the School of Art and Design, LS&A Theme Semester and the International Center.

•·         November 2,2010

Provost’s Seminar on Educating Globally Competent Students

1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Michigan League

This seminar, sponsored by the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT), is a professional development opportunity for U-M faculty members that will provide opportunities to explore and examine ways to internationalize course material and class discussions in order to increase students’ intercultural competency and maturity, and skills for global citizenship.

One Comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Copyright © 2022. Peace Corps Worldwide.