Syracuse University has again earned a top 25 ranking among colleges and universities producing the most current Peace Corps volunteers, according to an annual list released today. This year, SU ranks 11th among medium-sized colleges and universities.Thirty-six undergraduate SU alumni are currently serving abroad as Peace Corps volunteers. Since 1961, 760 SU alumni have served as Peace Corps volunteers, ranking the school 52nd in the nation. The 2011 rankings were calculated based on fiscal year 2010 data as self reported by volunteers.
According to Aaron S. Williams, director of the Peace Corps, SU alumni serving in the Peace Corps are “making important contributions to grassroots projects in agriculture, education, the environment, health and HIV/AIDS education and prevention, small business development and youth development.”
“This ranking speaks volumes about the culture of Syracuse University and our students,” says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. “From the Peace Corps’ origins 50 years ago this year, SU students have volunteered and made a difference wherever in the world they are most needed. Our vision, Scholarship in Action, captures that quintessential aspect of the SU spirit, and the large number of our Peace Corps volunteers last year is an indicator of just how strong our longstanding commitment to the public good is today.”
The Peace Corps ranks its top volunteer-producing schools annually according to the size of the student body. Small schools have fewer than 5,000 undergraduates, medium-sized schools have between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates, and large schools have more than 15,000 undergraduates.
President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961, by executive order. Throughout 2011, Peace Corps is commemorating 50 years of promoting peace and friendship around the world. Historically, more than 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries.
Today, 8,655 Peace Corps volunteers are working with local communities in 77 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Service is a 27-month commitment.
Jaime Winne Alvarez