UW–Madison to celebrate 59th anniversary of Peace Corps

The nation can take pride knowing that the Peace Corps has made a difference in the lives of people around the world for almost 60 years. But with more than 3,200 Badgers and over 6,300 Wisconsinites overall having served, the legacy of the Peace Corps is especially meaningful in Madison and across the state.

Peace Corps logo“For 59 years the Peace Corps has shown the world that volunteerism, service, and mutual respect are important qualities in a thriving society,” said Kate Schachter, UW–Madison campus recruiter. “Through the Peace Corps, UW–Madison alumni expand the Wisconsin Idea beyond the boundaries of the nation and bring valuable experiences and partnerships back to Wisconsin and the U.S.”

UW–Madison will host a series of events on campus and in the community from Mar. 1–7 as part of Peace Corps Week, a national celebration of the 59th anniversary of the Peace Corps.

The week offers ample opportunity for students and the public to expand their worldviews and learn what it means to serve in the Peace Corps through special events including a story slam, informational sessions, and a 5K/10K/Walk benefitting Open Doors for Refugees.
Informational sessions and application workshops are planned for early in the week. On Wed., Mar. 4., the 6th annual Peace Corps Story Slam will take place from 6:30–8:30 p.m. at The Rigby in Madison. This year’s theme for the Story Slam is “The Tipping Point.” Returned volunteers will have 5 minutes to share engaging and entertaining stories from their service revolving around their personal “aha!” moment during their service. Entry fee is a $5 donation or two non-perishable food items. Students get in free.

On Fri., Mar. 6, stop by Bascom Hall 260 between noon–5 p.m. for the “Human Library,” a drop-in open house affair. Ask questions to returned volunteers who served in regions around the globe. The UW Peace Corps recruiter will be available to discuss how to serve. Members of the community are also welcome to discuss opportunities in the Peace Corps with the UW recruiter.

The week’s events will wrap up on Sat., Mar. 7, at Vilas Park with the Annual Freeze for Food 5K/10K/Walk. Participate to raise funds for food security projects related to refugees in Wisconsin. The events are chip-timed and awards will be given to top male and female participants in each age group. Advanced registration is recommended.

The community is also finding ways to get involved in Peace Corps Week. In addition to cosponsoring many of the events planned by Peace Corps at UW–Madison, the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCV) of Madison will host a screening of A Towering Task: The Story of the Peace Corps, followed by a panel discussion at The Marquee Cinema at Union South at 6:30 p.m. on Mar. 3. The screening is free and open to the public.

UW–Madison is the #2 all-time producer of volunteers and was recognized by the Peace Corps in 2019 for more volunteers coming from UW–Madison than any other institution. Learn more about the Peace Corps at UW–Madison and Peace Corps Week at peacecorps.wisc.edu.

About the Peace Corps

The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since the founding of Peace Corps, more than 235,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide. For more information, visit peacecorps.gov.