Alumni Share JMU Service Commitment with Peace Corps

From: Public Affairs

Jan. 20, 2009

HARRISONBURG James Madison University remains on the Peace Corps' Top 25 list of large colleges and universities producing Peace Corps volunteers with 44 alumni currently serving. JMU is No. 21 in the rankings for schools that produced the most volunteers in 2008.

JMU alumni have consistently served in the Peace Corps, making 2008 the ninth consecutive year that the university has ranked within the Top 25 list as related to its undergraduate enrollment. Prior to 2006, JMU was included in the medium colleges and universities category. For the last three years, the university has been listed among schools with more than 15,000 undergraduates in the large colleges and universities category.

Alumni participation in the Peace Corps builds on a service culture encouraged at JMU as it prepares students to be educated and enlightened citizens who lead productive and meaningful lives. Through its Community Service Learning, Alternative Spring Break, Alternative Thanksgiving Break and other programs, the university supports the development of leaders committed to service.

A total of 7,876 Peace Corps volunteers are currently serving in 76 countries.

Since 1961 when the Peace Corps was established, 364 JMU alumni have served in the program, which promotes a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 countries in which they have served. The JMU alumni are among more than 195,000 people who have volunteered for Peace Corps service.

"The Peace Corps relies heavily on the graduates of contributing schools from across the country," said Ron Tschetter, director of the Peace Corps. "Their education and experiences add to the diversity of the Peace Corps and its success in the host countries."

Sarah Bartfeld, a Peace Corps recruiter and returned volunteer, will participate in the JMU Service Fair Thursday, Feb. 5, in Transitions in Warren Hall. Details about joining the Peace Corps will be shared from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the public event.

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