St. Paul, Minn. – Since the Peace Corps began in 1961, 343 Macalester alumni have served, and for the seventh year in a row, Macalester has placed on the Peace Corps’ list of top colleges nationwide producing Peace Corps volunteers.  With 18 alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers, Macalester is No. 15 in this year’s rankings among small-sized colleges and universities.

The agency’s mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries.

Denise Ward, Macalester’s associate dean for student services and director of career development says the Peace Corps fits in to Macalester’s DNA.  “Our core values of internationalism, service to others and multiculturalism explain why so many of our alumni have found their way to the Peace Corps,” says Ward.  “It’s a good fit.”

The Peace Corps ranks its top volunteer-producing schools annually according to the size of the student body.  Small schools have less than 5,000 undergraduates, medium-sized schools have between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates, and large schools have more than 15,000 undergraduates.

Since its inception, more than 200,000 Americans have served in the Peace Corps in 139 host countries. Today, 9,095 volunteers are working with local communities in 75 host countries.

Peace Corps volunteers work in the areas of education and English teaching; agriculture, forestry and environment; public health and HIV/AIDS; youth and community development; math and science, and engineering; and business, planning and IT.

There are approximately 260 Minnesota residents serving in the Peace Corps, with Minneapolis-St. Paul ranking as one of the highest Peace Corps volunteer-producing metro areas in the country.  Overall, more than 6,182 Minnesota residents have served in Peace Corps since 1961, when it was created under President John F. Kennedy.

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 1,978 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism, and civic engagement.  Learn more at

February 1 2012

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