UM Leads Nation in Peace Corps Volunteerism
MISSOULA – The spirit of service continues to surge at the University of Montana and in Missoula. Both UM and Missoula lead the nation in yielding Peace Corps volunteers.
Per capita, Missoula ranked as the top city for the second straight year with 12 volunteers per 100,000 people. The No. 2 city, Charlottesville, Virginia, averages 10 volunteers annually. UM ranks fourth in the nation for medium-sized colleges producing Peace Corps volunteers – its highest ranking ever.
“We are so proud of the robust level of participation of our students and local community. It clearly illustrates the caring, service-oriented culture that exists on our campus and in Missoula,” said Laurie Fisher, director of UM Career Services, which houses an on-campus Peace Corps representative.
UM moved up from its No. 7 spot in 2017 to its strongest showing after more than 15 years in the top 10 colleges. Thirty-four Grizzlies currently are volunteering through the Peace Corps worldwide.
The medium-sized college category includes universities with enrollments between 5,000 and 15,000 students. The top three schools in the category were George Washington University with 50 Peace Corps volunteers, American University with 49 student volunteers and the College of William and Mary with 35 students serving abroad.
Montana has been in the top five volunteer-producing states per capita for the past five years. Since the Peace Corps’ founding in 1961, 883 UM alumni have served abroad.
“As Peace Corps volunteers, recent college and university graduates foster capacity and self-reliance at the grassroots level, making an impact in communities around the world,” said acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley. “When they return to the United States, they have new, highly sought-after skills and an enterprising spirit that further leverages their education and strengthens their communities back home.”
The UM Peace Corps representative is housed in Career Services, and located on the garden level of the Emma B. Lommasson Center in Suite 154. Students may call and make an appointment or visit during drop-in hours. For more information visit the Peace Corps website at or email Missy Smith, UM’s Peace Corps campus representative, at firstname.lastname@example.org.