No. 1 in Peace Corps volunteerismUniversity students lead nation among schools with undergraduate population less than 5,000
By Jennifer Vanasco
The University ranks No. 1 in the number of alumni who become Peace Corps volunteers, according to statistics released by the Peace Corps this week. The University was compared to other colleges and universities with undergraduate populations of fewer than 5,000.
In the Peace Corps' 36-year history, 519 University of Chicago alumni have joined the corps. In second place was Dartmouth with 482 alumni volunteers and in third was Oberlin with 407.
"We are very proud of the Chicago students who joined the Peace Corps before beginning their careers," said John Boyer, Dean of the College. "Chicago graduates gain an unsurpassed education, including a serious engagement with the study of world civilizations, and that prepares them to understand and work with people from different cultures and to thrive in challenging and surprising situations."
One University alumna, Cecilia Roth (A.B. '76) joined the Peace Corps in 1978 with her husband, Joel Roth (A.B. '76, MBA '78). "Our first anniversary was on our second day in the Dominican Republic," said Cecilia, now an attorney. "I loved the University of Chicago. It gave me a great liberal arts education that taught me that you don't need to always do something that furthers your career prospects. It prepared me for more learning experiences, which the Peace Corps provides."
Today, 6,500 Peace Corps volunteers are serving in 87 countries. More than 150,000 Americans have served in the Peace Corps since its founding in 1961.