Alumni serving in Peace Corps improve University’s ranking

WUSTL has moved up three spots on this year’s top 25 list of medium-sized schools producing Peace Corps volunteers.

With 22 alumni currently serving in the Peace Corps, the University is now ranked 20th overall. Since 1961, when the international service organization was founded, 487 WUSTL alumni have joined the ranks — making the University the 86th largest producer of volunteers all-time.

The University is ranked second in the state for Peace Corps volunteers, behind the University of Missouri-Columbia.

“The high level of student interest in the Peace Corps is in line with students’ community service involvement and their increasing interest in serving and understanding the global community,” said Stephanie Kurtzman, director of the Community Service Office and associate director of the Richard A. Gephardt Institute for Public Service.

“The Peace Corps provides our graduates with a unique opportunity to build relationships with local communities, partner with them on improvement projects and deepen their commitment to civic engagement over their life span,” she said.

Although it is not a requirement for service, the majority of Peace Corps volunteers are college graduates. Currently, 95 percent of volunteers have at least an undergraduate degree, with 11 percent possessing a graduate- level degree.

More than 8,000 Peace Corps volunteers are serving abroad, a 37-year high for volunteers in the field. Since 1961, more than 190,000 volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries where volunteers have served.

Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.

Students, faculty and community members interested in the Peace Corps can attend an informational session at 10 a.m. March 18 in the Career Center in Umrath Hall.