Notre Dame reaches No. 10 on Peace Corps’ college rankings


For the twelfth year in a row, the University of Notre Dame has placed on the Peace Corps’ list of top universities nationwide producing Peace Corps volunteers, and its rank is steadily rising.

This year, with 35 alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers, Notre Dame moves up to the No. 10 spot among medium-sized universities (with between 5,001 and 15,000 undergraduates), from last year’s No. 18 ranking with 25 volunteers in service. In 2011, Notre Dame moved up to No. 18 from the 2010 No. 23 spot. Since Peace Corps was founded in 1961, 858 Notre Dame alumni have served in Peace Corps.

“Colleges and universities prepare thousands of talented undergraduate and graduate alumni for Peace Corps service every year,” said Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams (Dominican Republic, 1967-70). “These alumni go on to serve as Peace Corps volunteers, applying the skills and knowledge they acquired during their studies to promote world peace and friendship and improve the lives of people around the world. Every day, volunteers make countless contributions to projects in agriculture, education, the environment, health and HIV/AIDS education and prevention, small business development, and youth development.”

Michael Hebbeler, director of student leadership and senior transitions for Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns, said, “We are extremely grateful for our continued partnership with the Peace Corps. This ranking reflects the formation of our undergraduate students as they learn and develop in a classroom that extends well into the community. These experiences often deepen their desire to serve the common good for justice, and the Peace Corps provides incredible opportunities for our students to live out the mission of our university beyond graduation and across the globe.”

This past fall, in commemoration of the Peace Corps’ 50th anniversary, Peace Corps Deputy Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet visited campus to pay special tribute to Notre Dame and to University President Emeritus Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh. C.S.C., for his significant role in Peace Corps history. Father Hesburgh worked closely with President John F. Kennedy, the Peace Corps’ first director Sargent Shriver and associate director Harris Wofford in its development and invited the first Peace Corps volunteers to train on campus before traveling to assignments in Chile. He continued to mentor and advise these early volunteers throughout their service.

In 2010, Notre Dame introduced a new Peace Corps Paul D. Coverdell Fellows graduate program in the area of nonprofit administration within the Mendoza College of Business. This unique graduate program offers Peace Corps volunteers who have completed their service the opportunity to attend Notre Dame to earn an advanced degree (master of nonprofit administration), with financial assistance and the chance to use their knowledge and skills in community internships as part of the program’s requirements.

About the Peace Corps:
Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 200,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 9,095 volunteers are working with local communities in 75 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age, but there is no upper age limit to serve. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment, including three months of comprehensive culture, language, program, and safety and security training. The agency’s mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries. Visit for more information.

Contact: John M. Guimond, director, communications, Center for Social Concerns, 574-631-3209

Originally published by John Guimond at on January 31, 2012.

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