GW Brief: Peace Corps ranks GW as second-largest volunteer producer

The Peace Corps ranked GW second among medium-sized universities for the number of alumni who opt to volunteer with the organization upon graduation. GW was first last year.

GW ranks behind the University of Virginia, and ahead of Western Washington University, Cornell University and the College of William and Mary – universities that round out the list’s top five contributors. Sixty-six alumni joined last year.

“The consistently high rankings of GW show a strong interest in international affairs and community service among GW graduates,” said Stephen Chapman, a public affairs specialist for the Peace Corps.

The University has appeared in the Peace Corps’ list of top-producing schools for the past five years, since the medium-sized school category was added in 2003. In total, 928 GW alumni have joined the Peace Corps making GW the 29th greatest producer of volunteers since the corps’ creation in 1961.

“Oftentimes, GW students are interested in pursuing international careers and the Peace Corps is an excellent means of gaining quality international experience, while also giving something back to developing countries around the world,” Chapman said.

There are now more than 190,000 volunteers who have served in the Peace Corps over the past 46 years, traveling to more than 139 countries around the globe.

“The Peace Corps is an internationally recognized operation, and the fact that we have a significant amount of alumni that participate in the Peace Corps brings a very positive attribute to the university and to our alumni,” said Tracy Schario, a spokesperson for the University.

Schario added that “GW is known for politics and policy and public service, and the Peace Corps is one of the best-known public service initiatives ever, and we are very proud of our alumni who volunteer in such great number.”

Instead of starting a career immediately upon graduation, many GW alumni view the Peace Corps as a viable alternative.

“The (GW) student body on a whole is very civically engaged, and has a very strong sense of social welfare and social consciousness, and the Peace Corps fits into that model very closely,” Schario said.

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