Colorado State University ranks 12th in the nation among large universities and colleges for the number of alumni serving as Peace Corps volunteers, according to 2007 rankings released this week by the volunteer organization.
Colorado State also ranked 12th last year and consistently lands in the top 15 among universities and colleges with more than 15,000 undergraduates.
The university claims 57 alumni volunteering for the Peace Corps. Since the Peace Corps’ inception in 1961, 1,466 Colorado State alumni have volunteered.
"Our students want to contribute to the health and well-being of other nations and citizens," said Martha Denney, director of International Education. "That’s part of our historic nature at Colorado State University and our commitment to solving some of the world’s most pressing problems."
Student interest in the organization, which historically has been strong at Colorado State, increased after Sept. 11, 2001. But the university’s strong history of providing volunteers and support to the Peace Corps can be traced to the organization’s beginnings. Colorado State researchers Pauline Birky-Kreutzer and Maury Albertson, answering President John F. Kennedy’s famous call to service, published in 1961 one of the original feasibility studies that led to the creation of the Peace Corps.
Colorado State offers Peace Corps master’s programs in the College of Agricultural Sciences, Warner College of Natural Resources, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition and Department of English.
Jim Cooney, associate provost for International Programs at CSU, said, "These programs are important to the university, and they build our capacity for future Peace Corps volunteers."
Since 1961, more than 187,000 Peace Corps volunteers have served in 139 countries, working in communities to help fight hunger and disease, provide clean water, educate children and help launch new businesses. The vast majority of volunteers have been college graduates.
In Colorado, 274 residents were volunteers as of Sept. 2007; some 6,000 have volunteered since 1961.
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) 491-5917.
To contact the Peace Corps, call 1-800-424-8580 or visit the Web at www.peacecorps.gov.