Colorado State University ranks 11th in the nation among large colleges and universities in the number of alumni actively serving as Peace Corps volunteers. According to a recent Peace Corps announcement, 59 Colorado State graduates currently are representing the United States by serving in developing nations as Peace Corps volunteers.
Colorado State’s national 11th place ranking is up one from last year’s 12th place spot, when the university had 48 alumni serving in the Peace Corps. Student interest in joining the volunteer organization increased at Colorado State after the tragedies of September 11, 2001, and following President George Bush’s subsequent call to public service.
"The fact that Colorado State consistently ranks among the nation’s top providers of Peace Corps volunteers reflects both the quality of our students and the emphasis this university places on building people of character who understand their responsibilities in a civil society," said Linda Kuk, vice president for Student Affairs at Colorado State. "Each year, a significant number of dedicated graduates selflessly apply skills acquired at Colorado State to help improve the lives of people in need and to cultivate cultural understanding, peace and friendship throughout the world."
According to Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez, throughout the years Colorado State has made a tremendous contribution to the Peace Corps’ global legacy of public service. Vasquez further stated that this year’s rankings clearly reflect the high caliber of students who attend Colorado State.
Colorado State’s strong history of providing support to the Peace Corps can be traced to the volunteer organization’s inception more than 40 years ago. Colorado State researchers, answering John F. Kennedy’s famous call to service, conducted one of the original feasibility studies in 1961 that led to the creation of the Peace Corps.
"Colorado State and the Peace Corps have developed a strong relationship over the last four decades," said Kuk. "During this challenging time of distress in many parts of our world, the important role these alumni play in promoting hope, opportunity and freedom cannot be underestimated and will continue to become even more vital."
Nearly 7,000 Peace Corps volunteers currently serve in 70 countries, working in communities to help fight hunger and disease, provide clean water, educate children and help stop the spread of AIDS. Since 1961, more than 168,000 Americans have joined the Peace Corps, serving in 136 nations. The vast majority of volunteers have been college graduates.
The Colorado State University Peace Corps office is located in the Office of International Programs, Room 102E Laurel Hall on the main campus, and can be reached at (970) 491-7706.
To contact the Peace Corps, call 1-800-424-8580 or visit the Web at www.peacecorps.gov.