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CC ranks 7th nationally in number of Peace Corps volunteers

For Immediate Release

Media contacts:
Jane Turnis
(719) 389-6138

Leslie Weddell
(719) 389-6038


CC president excited but not surprised that college ranks among top 10 nationally

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Jan. 17, 2007 - Colorado College moved up four spots and now ranks seventh among small colleges and universities in the United States with alumni serving as Peace Corps volunteers.

The college has 21 alumni currently serving. Since the Peace Corps' inception in 1961, 306 Colorado College alumni have joined its ranks. This year's jump from 11th to seventh place is the highest CC has ranked on the list. The second-highest ranking was in 2003, when Colorado College placed eighth.

"I am excited by the news that CC has joined the Peace Corps' small-college Top 10 - but I am not surprised," says Colorado College President Richard F. Celeste, who joined the college in 2002 and served as director of the U.S. Peace Corps from 1979 until 1981.

"I have found an eagerness on the part of many of our students to put their education to work in the developing world, to hone their skills at the same time as they help make a real difference in the lives of others. In fact, I regularly get email from our alums serving in Peace Corps assignments around the world, reporting on their activities and discussing how to take the next step in a journey of international service."

Judy Offerdahl, interim director of Colorado College's career center, says at a college where 80 percent of the students are involved in service projects of one form or another and 60 percent of the students study abroad, it comes as no surprise that many graduates go on to join the Peace Corps. "Most students at Colorado College tell us that they want to make a positive difference in the world. Many of them hope to live abroad after graduation. The Peace Corps is a great alternative for these young graduates," she says.

The Peace Corps ranks the top 25 colleges and universities producing volunteers according to the size of the student body. Small colleges are those with fewer than 5,000 undergraduates; medium-size schools are those with between 5,001 and 15,000 undergraduates; and large institutions are those with more than 15,000 undergraduates. Colorado College has 1,945 undergraduate students.

The University of Puget Sound, with 30 volunteers, ranked first among small colleges and universities; Carleton College and the University of Chicago tied for second with 29 volunteers.

In addition to Colorado College, other Colorado schools on the top 25 list are University of Colorado-Boulder with 100 current volunteers, and University of Denver, with 20 volunteers.

CU-Boulder, with 2,052 total volunteers, becomes the sixth university in the nation to have more than 2,000 graduates who have served as Peace Corps volunteers. The other five are, in descending order: University of California-Berkeley, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Washington, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and Michigan State University.

To view the entire "Peace Corps Top Colleges 2007" list, visit the Peace Corps Web site at

About Colorado College
Colorado College is a nationally prominent, four-year liberal arts and sciences college that was founded in Colorado Springs in 1874. The college operates on the innovative Block Plan, in which its 1,945 students study one course at a time in intensive 3½-week blocks. For more information, visit .

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