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Elon named a top school in annual Peace Corps rankings

Elon University has been named to the list of “Top Peace Corps Volunteer Producing Colleges and Universities” by the Peace Corps with 15 alumni serving in an agency that seeks to promote a better understanding between Americans and citizens of host nations.

Elon is tied for #17 among small colleges and universities, along with Johns Hopkins University, Mount Holyoke College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges and Grinnell College. St. Olaf tops the list of small colleges and universities with 26 alumni currently serving as volunteers.

Seventy Elon alumni have served in the Peace Corps since its founding in 1961. The university debuted in the Peace Corps annual rankings in 2007 when it was ranked #24.

“With the knowledge and training acquired at Elon University, these volunteers are providing a people-to-people form of service at the grassroots level and positively affecting local communities worldwide,” Aaron S. Williams, director of the Peace Corps, wrote in a letter to Elon President Leo M. Lambert. “Elon University has been instrumental to the success of the Peace Corps mission.”

Nearly 7,700 Americans are active volunteers with the Peace Corps. More than 15,000 people applied for positions in 2009, the largest number of applications since the agency began electronically recording applications in 1998, according to the Peace Corps.

About 200,000 Americans have served with the Corps throughout its history. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age before making the 27-month commitment to the program.

Schools are ranked according to the size of the student body, the Peace Corps states on its web site. Small schools are those with fewer than 5,000 undergraduates, medium-size schools are those between 5,001 and 15,000 undergraduates, and large schools are those with more than 15,000 undergraduates.


Eric Townsend,
2/12/2010 4:51 PM