Dartmouth Named a Top Producer of Peace Corps Volunteers

News subtitle

Since 1961, 605 graduates have worked abroad for the program.

Baker in spring and Peace Corps logo

Drew Whitley ’23, a Middle Eastern studies and religion major originally from Kentucky, says his experience at Dartmouth played a big part in his decision to become a Peace Corps education volunteer in Lesotho after graduation.

“It definitely takes an open, inspired mind, and willingness to sacrifice some creature comforts to dispose anyone towards joining the Peace Corps,” says Whitley, who was an active member of the Dartmouth Outing Club and is an avid skier and an alumni member of the Friends of the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding. “Combine this disposition with a liberal arts faculty dedicated to undergraduate teaching and mentoring, small class sizes, and an incredibly robust study abroad office, and it is not surprising to find that so many Dartmouth graduates have chosen to serve.”

In fact, 605 graduates have gone on to volunteer for the Peace Corps since it was founded by President John F. Kennedy in 1961, placing Dartmouth in the 2024 rankings of top, all-time volunteer-producing colleges, universities, and graduate schools, the independent government agency announced this month.

Dartmouth ranked number 10 for medium-sized colleges historically producing the most Peace Corps volunteers. Yale was fourth in that category, with 790.

Among large universities, the University of California Berkeley and the University of Wisconsin-Madison topped the list, with 2,862 and 2,766 Peace Corps volunteers, respectively, over the years.

“Today’s world requires problem solvers and people who understand that it is only through shared impact that we will change the trajectory of global issues. Curiosity and openness to others is cultivated in school, but must be nurtured throughout our lifetimes,” says Peace Corps Director Carol Spahn. “I am so grateful to these outstanding institutions for challenging and inspiring their students to not only be exceptional students but also to go on to be informed and intentional global citizens.”

Individuals interested in the Peace Corps are encouraged to apply online.

Office of Communications