Gettysburg College has earned a Top 25 ranking on the annual list of "Top Peace Corps Volunteer Producing Colleges and Universities."
Gettysburg ranked 11th nationally among small colleges and universities.
"Today, 19 of your talented undergraduate alumni are representing our country abroad," Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams wrote to Gettysburg College President Janet Morgan Riggs. "These volunteers are applying the skills and knowledge they acquired during their time at Gettysburg College to help improve the lives of people across the globe. They are making important contributions to grass-roots projects in agriculture, education, the environment, health and HIV/AIDS education and prevention, small business development, and youth development."
Gettysburg College has a strong and enduring connection to the Peace Corps. Since its inception in 1961, 154 Gettysburg graduates have been involved, including 50 graduates in the last five years. A few examples:
• Carol Bellamy, Class of 1963, was tapped by President Bill Clinton to serve as director, becoming the first former volunteer to head the organization in 1993. She later became executive director of UNICEF.
• Three members of the Class of 2010 became Peace Corps volunteers this past fall: Kurt Hagemann, from Baldwin, N.Y., majored in psychology and globalization studies and minored in music; and Nathan Storey, from Phoenix, Md., who majored in anthropology; Gregory Purifoy, who majored in philosophy and film
studies and minored in studio art, is an environmental educator in Santa Lucia, Nicaragua.
• Peace Corps volunteer Jen Lazuta, Class of 2007, created a library in Bougounam, Burkina Faso, with assistance from Lucy Marinova and Munya Choga, both Class of 2012.
• Nancy Franke, Class of 2006, is an urban youth development Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay.
"With more than 8,600 Volunteers currently serving overseas-a 40-year high in the number of Volunteers-the Peace Corps is actively and successfully engaged in 77 countries, and our successes, both this year and during the last 50 years, are directly attributable to the outstanding support we have received from Gettysburg College," Williams wrote.
The Peace Corps traces its roots and mission to 1960, when then Senator John F. Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries. From that inspiration grew an agency of the federal government devoted to world peace and friendship. Since then nearly 200,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in 139 host countries to work on issues ranging from AIDS education to information technology and environmental preservation. More info on the 2011 rankings
Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition that includes Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate and other distinguished scholars among its alumni. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.
Contact: Jim Hale, senior staff writerPosted: Tue, 1 Feb 2011
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