Hobart and William Smith Colleges rank No. 17 in the category of ‘Small Colleges and Universities’ on the Peace Corps’ annual rankings of Peace Corps volunteer-producing schools, with 15 alumni and alumnae currently serving. Since the Peace Corps was founded in 1961, 183 HWS graduates have joined the Peace Corps.
Hobart and William Smith are ranked with Johns Hopkins University, Mount Holyoke College, Elon University and Grinnell College. This acknowledgement of the Colleges’ robust Peace Corps program is attributable, in part, to an initiative formed by the Colleges’ Salisbury Center for Career Services in coordination with Peace Corps regional recruiter Shannon Small. HWS held a number of panel discussions with faculty, alums and community members who are Peace Corps alums and reached out to recent HWS graduates to generate interest.
The Colleges’ tie to the Peace Corps is strong with President Mark D. Gearan having served as director of the Peace Corps from 1995 through 1999. “Hobart and William Smith students are active on campus, in their communities and around the world wherever they see a need,” says Gearan. “We are proud to again be recognized for the culture of civic engagement our students embody.”
The Colleges also hosted two Peace Corps directors Ronald A. Tschetter in 2007 and Gaddi Vasquez in 2004 as guests of the President’s Forum Series.
The Peace Corps ranks its top volunteer-producing schools annually according to the size of the student body. The rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2009 data as of September 30, 2009 as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers. Currently, there are 7,671 Peace Corps volunteers serving in 76 host countries around the world.
“For nearly 50 years, enthusiastic college alumni have contributed to the success of Peace Corps programs and our mission to promote world peace and friendship in host communities around the world,” said Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams. “Peace Corps service is a life changing leadership opportunity and a great career foundation in almost every field, ranging from international development, education, public health, engineering, agriculture, and law, to name a few. I am proud of our historic relationship with more than 3,000 colleges and universities in the United States and look forward to recruiting and training the next generation of Peace Corps volunteers.”
In recent years, Hobart and William Smith Colleges have also been listed in The Princeton Review’s Colleges with a Conscience: An Engaged Student’s Guide to College, which ranked HWS as one of best institutions for service learning and civic engagement. This past fall, the Colleges were ranked 17th overall among the nation’s liberal arts colleges in the area of service by Washington Monthly in its 2009 “College Guide” liberal arts college rankings. The publication defines service as the institution’s encouragement to students to give something back to their country and ranks colleges in this area based on the number of alums who go on to serve in the Peace Corps and the amount of federal work-study money going to community service (versus non-community service), among other criteria.