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Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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GW ranks No. 25 in Peace Corps’ ranking of volunteer-producing universities

Maya Nair | Photographer
Online graduate student enrollment increased by about 600 students, while the number of online, nondegree students increased by 26 in the same period, according to institutional data.

The Peace Corps announced late last month that GW is among the top 25 universities that have produced the most total volunteers for their service since the agency’s founding.

The Peace Corps — an organization that educates and mobilizes volunteers to offer support for global development assistance — ranked GW No. 25 out of all American universities with students who volunteer for the agency, with a total of 1,369 volunteers from the University since the creation of the agency under President John F. Kennedy in 1961, according to the release. The University ranks higher in its number of volunteers out of all 12 of its peer schools except Boston University, which clinched No. 18 on the list with 1,536 volunteers.

The Peace Corps works with local communities to recover from pandemic-related “health and development setbacks,” adapt and build resilience to climate change and provide leadership development opportunities to the largest generation of youth in history, according to their website. The University of California, Berkeley produced the highest number of volunteers with a total of 3,763 participants, while University of Wisconsin, Madison had the second-highest number at 3,402 volunteers, the release states.

Peace Corps Director Carol Spahn, a Class of 2000 alumna, said the COVID-19 pandemic brought on the “biggest developmental challenge” the world has faced in more than a century, which has increased the demand for Peace Corps volunteers to participate in response and recovery efforts among a greater number of communities since 2020.

The Peace Corps currently has more than 1,400 volunteers serving in 53 countries, according to the release. The release states that the agency is committed to recruiting and deploying more than 5,000 volunteers over the next year.

“Peace Corps service is the beginning of a lifetime of global connection and purpose for those bold enough to accept the invitation,” Spahn said in the release.

The Peace Corps ranked GW as the No. 1 medium-size school — colleges and universities with between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduate students — for producing the most Peace Corps volunteers in 2020, the third consecutive year the University held the title. The Peace Corps has not released rankings of total volunteers at medium-size schools since 2020.

Liam Paup, a 2020 graduate of the Elliott School of International Affairs who volunteers as co-teacher of English in Benin through the program, said GW prepared him to “think critically” about the problems he confronts daily, according to a University release late last month.

“George Washington University students are smart, driven and oriented toward helping create a better world,” Paup said. “The school attracts those who want to make an impact in their communities, countries and the world.”

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About the Contributor
Hannah Marr, Assistant News Editor
Hannah Marr is a sophomore double majoring in journalism and mass communication and history from New York, New York.  She is The Hatchet's 2023-2024 assistant news editor for the Student Government beat.
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