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March 11, 2002

UCSC ranks eighth in number of graduates serving in Peace Corps

UCSC may not be one of the nation's largest campuses, but when it comes to serving in the Peace Corps, it thinks big.

This urban youth development volunteer in Nicaragua teaches
English to high school students, and organized a soccer team for boys.
Photo: Peace Corps
UCSC, with an enrollment just over 13,000, ranks eighth in the nation in the number of former students helping around the world in the Peace Corps. The number one university in Peace Corps volunteers is the University of Wisconsin at Madison, with 41,219 students.

"Throughout the years, your institution has made a tremendous contribution to this agency's legacy of public service," Peace Corps Chief of Staff Lloyd Pierson wrote to UCSC Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood. UCSC was also ranked eighth in 2001, and eleventh in 2000.

"The important role that these students play in promoting hope, opportunity, and freedom cannot be underestimated in this time of adversity," Pierson added.

In the 41 years that the Peace Corps has been sending volunteers overseas, almost all have been college graduates. Today, 95 percent of Peace Corps Volunteers hold at least bachelor's degrees.

Since 1961, more than 165,000 Americans have served as Peace Corps volunteers in 135 different countries around the world. Approximately 7,000 volunteers are now at work in 70 countries, sharing their skills and their culture.

Other University of California institutions in the top 20 were UC Berkeley (3), UC Davis (10), UC Santa Barbara (15) and UCLA (16).

The top ten universities, their number of volunteers and their enrollments are:

  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, 96 (41,219)

  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 76 (37,197)

  • University of California, Berkeley, 70 (31,277)

  • University of Texas, Austin, 69 (50,616)

  • University of Colorado, Boulder, 64 (26,035)

  • University of Oregon, 63 (17,834)

  • University of Virginia, (18,848) and the University of Washington, (41,089), both 58.

  • University of California, Santa Cruz, 53 (13,147)

  • Boston University, 51 (29,600)

  • Indiana University, Bloomington (37,963), University of California, Davis (26,094) and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (24,180), all 50.

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