Bucknell Among Peace Corps’ 2018 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges & Universities

Gavin McGovern

NEW YORK, N.Y.  – Today, the Peace Corps announced that Bucknell University ranked No. 13 among small size schools on the agency’s 2018 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list. There are 12 Bucknell students currently volunteering worldwide.

This is the sixth year that Bucknell University has ranked among the top 25 small colleges and universities. In addition, Pennsylvania ranks No. 8 among states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers. There are 296 volunteers from the Keystone State currently serving worldwide and 8,379 Pennsylvanians have served in the Peace Corps since the agency’s founding in 1961.

“Peace Corps service is a profound expression of the idealism and civic engagement that colleges and universities across the country inspire in their alumni,” said Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley. “As Peace Corps Volunteers, recent college and university graduates foster capacity and self-reliance at the grassroots level, making an impact in communities around the world. When they return to the United States, they have new, highly sought-after skills and an enterprising spirit that further leverages their education and strengthens their communities back home.”

Alumni from more than 3,000 colleges and universities nationwide have served in the Peace Corps since the agency’s founding in 1961. A total of 288 Bucknell alumni have served in the Peace Corps since the agency was founded.

Gavin McGovern (in photo, back row middle) graduated from Bucknell in 2015, and is serving as an English teacher and teacher training volunteer in Indonesia. “The classic liberal arts education Bucknell provides is what I believe inspires so many students to serve in the Peace Corps,” McGovern said. “Bucknell allows the opportunity for students to cast a wide net and not be constrained to one single idea. The university surrounds you with people who want to learn more, to broaden their horizons and seek what is out there beyond the immediate confines of the campus. Professors especially help in stirring students’ academic imagination. I also feel the fun one has at Bucknell gives a sense of wanting to do more and provide something when in the real world.”

The Peace Corps ranks its top volunteer-producing colleges and universities annually according to the size of the student body. Below find the top five schools in each category and the number of alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers. View the complete 2018 rankings of the top 25 schools in each category here and find an interactive map that shows where alumni from each college and university are serving here.

Large Colleges & Universities – Total Volunteers:
More than 15,000 Undergraduates
1. University of Wisconsin-Madison – 85
2. University of Washington – 74
3. University of Minnesota – 72
4. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill – 70
5. University of Florida – 68

Medium Colleges & Universities – Total Volunteers:
Between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates
1. George Washington University – 50
2. American University – 49
3. College of William and Mary – 35
4. University of Montana – 34
5. Tulane University – 33

Small Colleges & Universities – Total Volunteers:
Fewer than 5,000 undergraduates
1. St. Mary’s College of Maryland – 17
2. Macalester College – 15
2. St. Lawrence University – 15
4. University of Redlands – 14
4. University of Mary Washington – 14.
4. Evergreen State College – 14
4. Hobart and William Smith Colleges – 14
4. Whitworth University – 14
4. Spelman College – 14
10. Willamette University – 13
10. Denison University – 13
10. Agnes Scott College – 13
13. Carleton College – 12
13. Bucknell University – 12
13. Eckerd College – 12

Graduate Schools – Total Volunteers:
1. Tulane University – 27
2. American University – 19
3. University of South Florida – 16
4. George Washington University – 15
5. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor – 14
5. Columbia University – 14
5. University of Denver – 14

Historical, Since 1961 – Total Volunteers:
1. University of California, Berkeley      3,671
2. University of Wisconsin–Madison     3,279
3. University of Washington                   3,027
4. University of Michigan                       2,720
5. University of Colorado Boulder         2,504

*Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2017 data as of September 30, 2017, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.


Editor’s Note:  To arrange an interview with Gavin McGovern, please contact Public Affairs Specialist Lissette Rutledge at lrutledge@peacecorps.gov or 305.497.7427. A photo of McGovern is available upon request.

CONTACT: Lissette Rutledge, lrutledge@peacecorps.gov, 305-497-7427

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