Today, the Peace Corps announced that Hobart and William Smith Colleges rank fourth among small schools on the agency’s 2017 list of Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities. Since the Peace Corps’ founding in 1961, 219 alums from HWS have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers, including 12 alums currently volunteering.
“This honor underscores Hobart and William Smith’s historical commitment to global citizenship,” says President Mark D. Gearan, who served as director of the Peace Corps from 1995 to 1999. “We are proud to have so many graduates whose civic engagement is having profound impacts in communities across the world.”
Hobart and William Smith are listed in the Small Colleges & Universities category of schools with less than 5,000 undergraduates along with such schools as Denison, Oberlin and Smith.
“Peace Corps service is an unparalleled leadership opportunity that enables college and university alumni to use the creative-thinking skills they developed in school to make an impact in communities around the world,” Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley says. “Many college graduates view the Peace Corps as a launching pad for their careers because volunteers return home with the cultural competency and entrepreneurial spirit sought after in most fields.”
Emily Surprenant ’15, who currently teaches English to students at primary and secondary schools in Kosovo, believes HWS’ commitment to interdisciplinary learning, civic engagement and global citizenship provided her the personal and professional foundation for success as a Peace Corps volunteer. “HWS shaped my voice as an advocate for my students and global community profoundly, and I am forever grateful for the relationships I developed during my time in Geneva,” she says.
The Peace Corps website hosts an interactive map that shows where alums from each college are serving. Applicants can apply and learn more about service opportunities by assignment area, country and departure date by visiting the Peace Corps website and connecting with a recruiter.
Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps, more than 225,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide.