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KU News Release

Jan. 31, 2005
Contact: Dan Lara, University Relations, (785) 864-8855.

KU makes national list for graduates serving as Peace Corps volunteers

LAWRENCE -- The University of Kansas has been named to the Peace Corps' 2005 national list of "Top Producing Colleges and Universities" for producing a high number of Peace Corps volunteers.

KU ranked 23 out of more than 200 large colleges and universities with undergraduate enrollments of more than 15,000 students. The university has 47 graduates serving in 24 countries.

" KU is honored to be recognized," said David Gaston, director of KU's University Career Center. "This honor demonstrates the giving attitude of our alumni and their commitment to service. I appreciate the Peace Corps giving KU the resources to have a local presence on campus, as well as the hard work of our local coordinator, Betty Baron."

This is the second time KU has made the list, coming in at No. 25 in 2004 with 41 graduates volunteering. Every year, the Peace Corps recognizes the college and university alumni who are working to advance the mission of the organization by publishing the "Top Producing Colleges and Universities" list. KU's Peace Corps office has been in existence since October 2001.

" The Peace Corps is extremely pleased with the notable contribution KU graduates make around the globe," said Ann Conway, manager of the Peace Corps regional office in Denver. "We honor the KU graduates who are willing to give of themselves in serving others and in promoting the Peace Corps mission throughout the world."

Volunteers in the Peace Corps commit to three months of training in language, culture, and technical skills and two years of service, said Betty Baron, Peace Corps coordinator for KU. Volunteers have their travel expenses paid, earn a monthly living allowance, and receive a lump sum of more than $6,000 after they complete their two years of service. The minimum age to apply is 18, and KU's oldest graduate currently serving is 78.

Ideal applicants have community service or other practical experience in addition to having special skills, maturity, a desire to help others, a sense of adventure and willingness to immerse themselves in other cultures, Baron said.

"I have been most impressed with KU's volunteers and their commitment to service," Baron said. "They have skills to share and a desire to promote peace by building friendships with people in other cultures."

Upcoming opportunities to learn more about the Peace Corps include the Alternative Career Fair, scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15, in the Big 12 Room in the Kansas Union. The event will provide information on the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps and Teach for America. Returned volunteers also will discuss their experiences at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 1, the 44th anniversary of the Peace Corps, at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St. For more information about these events or other Peace Corps activities at KU, contact Baron at (785) 864-7679 or peacecorps@ku.edu.

To download the entire 2005 "Top Producing Colleges and Universities" list, go to www.peacecorps.gov/news/resources/stats/pdf/schools2005.pdf. For more information about the Peace Corps or to apply to be a volunteer, visit www.peacecorps.gov.

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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