March 8, 2002

Contact: Sarah Ray
Posted: March 8, 2002

MIDDLEBURY, VT- In a letter to Middlebury College President John M. McCardell Jr., Peace Corps Chief of Staff Lloyd O. Pierson announced that Middlebury ranks second on an annual list of all small colleges and universities producing Peace Corps volunteers. The Peace Corps defines small colleges and universities as those schools with less than 5,000 undergraduates. In the Peace Corps’ 41-year history, 382 Middlebury alumni have joined its worldwide effort. There are 22 Middlebury alumni currently serving in the Peace Corps.

Describing the College’s Peace Corps volunteers, Pierson wrote, “They apply the skills and knowledge they acquired during their time at your institution to help improve the lives of many people in need. The important role that these students play in promoting hope, opportunity, and freedom cannot be underestimated in this time of adversity.”

“To support President Bush’s goal to double the number of Peace Corps volunteers over the next five years and build upon the valuable humanitarian work of the Peace Corps at home and abroad, we will be creating more opportunities for Americans to serve around the world and to bring those experiences back home,” said Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez in a news release issued by the Peace Corps.

Established in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, the Peace Corps has sent more than 165,000 trained volunteers to 135 countries. This year, 7,000 volunteers and trainees are in 70 countries around the world working to help fight hunger, bring clean water to communities, teach children, help start new small businesses, and stop the spread of AIDS.