UW News

February 11, 2014

UW tied for second in number of Peace Corps volunteers

News and Information

The University of Washington this year tied for second among large universities – schools with more than 15,000 undergraduates – in the number of Peace Corps volunteers, with 85 undergraduate alumni currently serving around the world.

The UW also tied for second in the number of graduate alumni volunteers, with 20.

Logo for top collegesElsewhere in the state, Western Washington University in Bellingham ranked first for medium-sized schools with 65 undergraduate alumni volunteers. Gonzaga University in Spokane ranked first for small-sized schools with 22.

“Coming from UW, Peace Corps was never a ‘crazy idea’ because there are so many alumni who join Peace Corps, either right after graduation or later in life,” said UW alumna Molly McDonald, an English education volunteer in Moldova. “I felt that the culture at UW, especially in the Jackson School of International Studies, prepared and encouraged me to take what I had learned and use it to explore the world.”

The University of Wisconsin-Madison was first; UW tied for second with the University of Florida. The complete rankings are available online.

The UW has been in the top three each year for the past decade, and has held the top spot five times, including last year.

“We are immensely proud of our graduates who make the decision to serve in the Peace Corps,” said UW President Michael K. Young. “It reflects the importance they and the university place on serving others, particularly in distant parts of the world. We aim to instill a global perspective in all of our students, and this is one indicator that we’re having a significant impact.”

Thousands of Peace Corps volunteers from across the U.S. work in dozens of countries on projects involving education, environment, health, agriculture and community economic development. Volunteers serve for 27 months.