The University of Wisconsin–Madison has been recognized on the Peace Corps list of historically top volunteer-producing colleges and universities.
Since 2003, UW–Madison has ranked No. 2 among the top 25 schools. Additionally, in 2020, the state of Wisconsin ranked No. 19 among all states and territories with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers since 1961.
The university has consistently been a top producer of Peace Corps volunteers, with UW–Madison recognized as the No. 1 producer on the agency’s annual list for four consecutive years through 2020. The Peace Corps has not yet restarted this ranking since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In March 2020, the Peace Corps suspended global operations and evacuated nearly 7,000 volunteers from more than 60 countries at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The evacuation included 78 UW–Madison alumni.
Currently, the agency is recruiting volunteers to serve in 59 countries at the invitation of host country governments, to connect through the Peace Corps’ grassroots approach across communities and cultures.
More than 1,400 volunteers have returned to a total of 53 countries around the world, including 16 UW–Madison alumni, who were among the first wave of Peace Corps volunteers to return to overseas service. One of them is recent UW graduate Meg Cirii, who’s serving in the Dominican Republic.
“The spirit of service cultivated at UW–Madison and across the state of Wisconsin make alumni and residents of the Badger state natural fits for the Peace Corps,” said Barry Gerhart, interim vice provost and dean, UW–Madison International Division. “We can all be proud that our community has been an integral part of this agency for worldwide cooperation.”
Over 6,400 volunteers from Wisconsin are among the more than 240,000 Americans who have served around the world in areas such as agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health, and youth development volunteers since the agency’s founding in 1961.
“Demand for Peace Corps volunteers is high given setbacks in development progress following the COVID-19 pandemic. There is an urgent call to action, and graduates of UW–Madison are part of a strong tradition of big-hearted problem solvers who have stepped up to say, ‘Count me in!’” said Peace Corps Director Carol Spahn. “Peace Corps service is the beginning of a lifetime of global connection and purpose for those bold enough to accept the invitation.”
Americans interested in transformative service and lifelong connections should apply to Peace Corps service at www.peacecorps.gov/apply. Apply before July 1 to make a global connection before the end of the year. The campus community can also connect with the UW–Madison Peace Corps recruiter during the academic year. More information about the Peace Corps at UW–Madison can be found at peacecorps.wisc.edu.
About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps is an international service network of volunteers, community members, host country partners and staff who are driven by the agency’s mission of world peace and friendship. At the invitation of governments around the world, Peace Corps volunteers work alongside community members on locally prioritized projects in the areas of education, health, environment, agriculture, community economic development and youth development. Through service, members of the Peace Corps network develop transferable skills and hone intercultural competencies that position them to be the next generation of global leaders. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 240,000 Americans have served in 142 countries worldwide. For more information, visit peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.