ST. MARY'S CITY, Md. (March 24, 2008) - If you scratch a Peace Corps volunteer, odds are you might find a St. Mary's College of Maryland graduate. The Peace Corps has announced that St. Mary's College of Maryland is ninth out of 28 small colleges in the nation for per-capita alumni volunteerism, up from 18th last year. The colleges were ranked according to how many alumni are serving with the Peace Corps, and St. Mary's total of 19 placed them firmly in the top ten.
St. Mary's College graduate Andrew Gilman ('06) is volunteering in Cameroon. According to Gilman, "The Peace Corps is another world. At first it all seemed strange, but you get used to things-like three men and a goat riding a motorcycle, or a pack of baboons by the roadside. I ate roasted termites. That used to seem odd. But that is life here." Gilman, from Wayne, Pa., is an agro-forestry volunteer working with village farmers to improve their fields. They planted almost 2,000 trees last year, and aim to double the number this year.
"St. Mary's students are genuinely committed to changing the world for the better, and this ranking reflects that dedication. Our students' commitment to community service here and abroad is inspiring," said St. Mary's College of Maryland President Jane Margaret O'Brien.
The ranking divided colleges into three size categories, with the smallest enrolling under 5,000 undergraduates. Medium-sized colleges were categorized as enrolling between 5,001 and 15,000, while large schools had over 15,000 undergraduates. St. Mary's College has 1,950 undergraduates.
"The Peace Corps provides a unique opportunity for graduates to use their education and skills, and apply them in the real world," said Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter. "I am proud that there are 1,192 institutions of higher learning currently represented by Peace Corps Volunteers serving in 74 countries overseas. These institutions can be proud of the contributions that their graduates are making in the lives of others around the globe."