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On Saturday, October 8, an estimated three hundred people gathered at the Monterey Institute’s downtown campus to participate in a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps. The day began with a screening of the film “An American Idealist: The Story of Sargent Shriver” and continued with panel discussions about the early years of the Peace Corps and the impact of service on careers. After an international tea and coffee reception, guests filled the Irvine Auditorium for a sold-out lecture by renowned author and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Paul Theroux. The lecture was followed by an international “bazaar” themed food and wine reception highlighting the countries served by Peace Corps Volunteers from the Monterey Institute.

All proceeds from the Paul Theroux talk went to support the Institute’s Peace Corps Scholarship Fund, and a raffle during the reception raised additional support for the fund.

The special relationship between the Peace Corps and the Monterey Institute is reflected in the large number of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) among our faculty, staff and students. For many of them their time in the Peace Corps was a pivotal life experience, influencing their professional careers in a profound way.

Thirty Monterey Institute students are currently serving in the Peace Corps as part of their Peace Corps Master’s International (PCMI) degree, and fifteen students are completing their required coursework on campus before starting their service. At the Institute you will also find another fifteen students who completed their Peace Corps service before enrolling in a degree program at the Monterey Institute. They are joined on campus by twelve faculty and staff members who are also Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

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Jason Warburg

Eva Gudbergsdottir