Once again, the Peace Corps has its Ducks in a row.
According to figures just released by the international aid organization, the University of Oregon ranks 10th in the nation for the number of Peace Corps volunteers produced by the largest universities in the United States. Forty-four UO alumni are currently volunteering with the group worldwide.
Related: UO Rankings
The UO has regularly ranked among the top 10 schools for Peace Corps volunteers. It was No. 8 in 2014 and 2013, and No. 10 in 2012.
In the category of large universities, those with undergraduate enrollments of more than 15,000 students, the UO is the only school in Oregon to rank in the top 25. It has historically had some of the highest participation rates per capita of any university in the top category.
“Working and living in a foreign country where you essentially start from square one realigns who you think you are, what you would like to achieve, and how you can work to achieve your dreams,” said Cal Brackin, UO graduate and current Peace Corps Volunteer in Mongolia. “I feel my international studies experience at the University of Oregon encouraged me explore the world in meaningful ways and provided me with ample opportunities to do so.”
Alumni from more than 3,000 colleges and universities nationwide have served in the Peace Corps since the agency’s founding in 1961, including 1,217 alumni from UO. During Peace Corps service, college graduates make a 27-month commitment to communities overseas.
“Every year the Peace Corps unveils the upper echelon of colleges and universities that have distinguished themselves at the top of its volunteer producing schools,” said Peace Corps West Coast Regional Manager Erin Carlson. “We take enormous pride in recognizing the University of Oregon as one of the 23 universities from the West Coast producing dedicated individuals who personify the Peace Corps mission of promoting world peace and friendship. We also congratulate the school for its top 10 ranking for the fourth consecutive year.”
The only other Oregon schools to fall in a top 25 ranking are three private schools, all in the category of small colleges and universities with enrollments of fewer than 5,000 undergraduates. They are Willamette University with 11 volunteers and the University of Portland and Lewis & Clark College, each with nine.