George Washington University has been recognized by the Peace Corps as one of the top producers of volunteers for the service over the past 20 years among colleges and universities of all sizes.
GW ranks number 25 in the listing released Tuesday by the Peace Corps. The recognition follows three consecutive years in which GW produced more Peace Corps volunteers than any other medium-size college and university, those with a student population between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates.
“Demand for Peace Corps volunteers is high given setbacks in development progress following the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Peace Corps Director Carol Spahn, M.A. ‘00. “Peace Corps service is the beginning of a lifetime of global connection and purpose for those bold enough to accept the invitation.”
Peace Corps volunteers serve in 59 countries at the invitation of host country governments and connect through a grassroots approach to communities and cultures. In March 2020, the agency evacuated nearly 7,000 volunteers at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, including 60 GW alumni volunteers. The agency has since resumed operations and recruiting volunteers.
Since the pandemic, more than 1,400 volunteers have returned to a total of 53 countries around the world, including 10 GW alumni, according to the Peace Corps. Among those alumni is Liam Paup, B.A. ‘20.
“George Washington University students are smart, driven and oriented toward helping create a better world,” said Paup, a graduate of the Elliott School of International Affairs. “The school attracts those who want to make an impact in their communities, countries and the world. The Elliott School…focuses on shaping future public service leaders, and many of them go on to serve in the Peace Corps.”
Paup volunteered to be a co-teacher of English in Benin for the Peace Corps. He said that GW prepared him to think critically about the problems he has confronted daily.
More than 1,369 GW alumni have served abroad as Peace Corps volunteers since the agency was established by President John F. Kennedy in 1961.