When you’re consistently ranked among the Peace Corps’ top colleges for producing volunteers, the arrival of the organization’s leading executives on campus may no longer qualify as happenstance.
Helen Lowman, the associate director of volunteer recruitment and selection for the Peace Corps, will visit the University of Montana on Tuesday, where she’ll highlight the state’s legacy of service and break down the nuances of volunteering in the worldwide service.
Lowman’s arrival is timely, if not delightfully suspicious. It comes one week after her organization released its 2014 rankings, naming UM among the top volunteer-producing universities in the country.
“This is the second year that UM has held the number 12 spot in the rankings among medium schools,” Peace Corps spokesman David Reese said last week. “This year also marks the 10th year the school has placed in the top 25 among the list of medium volunteer-producing colleges and universities.”
Reese said 22 university alumni are currently volunteering worldwide. Since the founding of the Peace Corps, he said, 811 alumni from UM have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers.
Among medium-sized colleges and universities – those with an enrollment below 15,000 students – Western Washington University ranked first, followed by the University of Virginia, American University, George Washington University and Cornell University.
Among large universities, the University of Wisconsin topped the list, followed by the universities of Washington, Florida, Ohio State and Michigan.
Since 1961, the University of California, Berkeley remains as the top volunteer-producing school in country with 3,576.
Lowman is scheduled to speak at UM from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday in Room 326 at the University Center. The talk is free and open to the public.