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When UT became the first Peace Corps Prep partner school in the state in April, it was a natural fit. The Peace Corps mission of global service mirrors UT’s Volunteer Creed.

Since the Peace Corps was established by President John F. Kennedy in 1961, more than 540 UT alumni have signed up to bear the torch to the global community.

In becoming a Peace Corps Prep partner school, UT joins more than 95 colleges across the country. Peace Corps Prep is a certificate program that involves coursework, hands-on experience, and professional development training. By helping students discover and develop key service skills, including language training, intercultural competency, and leadership, the program prepares UT students to be good Peace Corps volunteers—and often gives them a leg up in the Peace Corps’ competitive application process.

On October 16, the UT Peace Corps Prep program will hold an official launch ceremony at 1:15 p.m. in the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy. A light reception will begin at 12:45 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

In addition, several former Peace Corps volunteers will share stories from their years of service.

“I am ecstatic that the new director of the US Peace Corps will be joining us,” said Adam Willcox, UT’s Peace Corps Prep coordinator. “Director Olsen was just confirmed by the US Senate this past March, and we are proud to welcome her to the first Peace Corps Prep program in the state of Tennessee and show her our Vol for Life spirit.”

The event is free and open to the public.

RSVP online for the launch event.

“I hope many faculty, administrators, staff, students, and members of the community will attend,” Willcox said. “The head of the Tennessee Returned Peace Corps Volunteer group will be coming in from Nashville to speak as well. We expect a strong showing from those returned Peace Corps volunteers living in and around Knoxville.”

Following the launch event, Olsen will meet with several groups on campus and take a campus tour led by three students who have already been accepted to the program.

In coming years, the Peace Corps Prep program hopes to provide a steady wave of Peace Corps volunteers.

“I am pleased we are the first Peace Corps Prep program in the state of Tennessee,” said Willcox. “Although it’s a very ambitious goal, I would like UT to become one of the top 25 Peace Corps volunteer–producing schools. We are the Tennessee Volunteers and we have a lot to offer the world through the ultimate volunteer experience with the US Peace Corps.”

For more information, contact Adam Willcox.