Whitman ranks No. 8 among small schools on Peace Corps 2013 Top Colleges list
The Peace Corps has ranked Whitman College No. 8 among small schools that produce the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers. Since last year's rankings were released, Whitman has gained six spots to tie with other leading institutions such as Carleton, Smith, Kenyon and Grinnell. Small schools are designated as institutions with fewer than 5,000 undergraduates.
Whitman has a long history of sending graduates into the Peace Corps, which places volunteers in disadvantaged communities around the world. More than 300 Whitman graduates have served in the Peace Corps since its inception in 1961.
"Every year, graduates of colleges and universities across the United States are making a difference in communities overseas through Peace Corps service," said Carrie Hessler-Radelet, acting director of the Peace Corps. "As a result of the top-notch education they receive, these graduates are well prepared for the challenge of international service."
Sixteen Whitman alumni are currently serving overseas in the Peace Corps, including recent graduate Lauralee Woods '11. A biochemistry, biophysics, and molecular biology major from Philomath, Ore., Woods is completing her second year as a community health volunteer in Peru. She believes her Whitman liberal arts education to be instrumental to her role in the Peace Corps.
"The patience of professors, explaining concepts in laymen's terms has allowed me to better explain concepts to my community and teach them the importance of certain habits that lead to better health," she said.
This is the fifth time Whitman has placed on the Peace Corps Top Colleges list since 2003. Janet Allen, west coast regional manager for the Peace Corps, commended the college for "producing globally-minded leaders who turn idealism into action."
Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2012 data as of Sept. 30, 2012, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers. For a full list of Peace Corps 2013 Top Colleges, download the PDF.
About the Peace Corps: Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 210,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 8,073 volunteers are working with local communities in 76 host countries in agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment and the agency's mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.