The University of Michigan ranks eighth in the nation as a Peace Corps Paul D. Coverdell Fellows destination in 2014. Some 25 returned Peace Corps volunteers are currently pursuing graduate degrees in public policy or natural resources at the University of Michigan through the Coverdell Fellowship program.
As Coverdell Fellows, returned Peace Corps volunteers receive scholarships, academic credit, and stipends to earn an advanced degree in targeted fields. To qualify for the fellowship, Coverdell Fellows must also complete a full-time professional internship in an underserved American community.
Carrie Hessler-Radelet, acting director of the Peace Corps, visited the Ford School this spring for a Policy Talks @ the Ford School event. "It was here that Kennedy challenged America's youth to serve their nation by serving others around the world," she said, referring to the speech given by then-Presidential hopeful John F. Kennedy in the early morning of October 14, 1960.
During that speech, Kennedy asked how many of the University of Michigan's students would be willing to give two years of their lives to help people in developing countries, and a thousand students rallied behind the idea, encouraging Kennedy to launch the Peace Corps in the spring of 1961.
The University of Michigan ranks fourth in the nation as an all-time producer of Peace Corps volunteers. More than 2,556 University of Michigan alumni have served as Peace Corps volunteers during the agency's 53-year history.