College of Commerce and Business Administration

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

414 Wohlers Hall, 1206 South Sixth Street

Champaign IL 61820       For release December 13, 2001


For more information contact:                                Ginny Hudak-David, Director, Commerce Communications


Among the top five:
Illinois graduates serving as business advisors in the Peace Corps


The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is among the top five universities in the country with alumni serving in the Peace Corps business program. Eleven Illinois graduates are serving in a business capacity as Peace Corps volunteers in countries as diverse as Kazakhstan, Togo, and Paraguay. The volunteers represent several Illinois colleges, including Commerce and Business Administration, Engineering, Social Work, and Liberal Arts and Sciences. Their majors include accountancy, finance, sociology, Spanish, and computer science.

Scot Roskelley, public affairs assistant in the Peace Corps Chicago regional office, announced recently that Illinois is tied in third place with the University of Washington as an institution supplying business volunteers to the forty-year old organization. The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor has 14 graduates and the University of Wisconsin and Miami University each have 13 graduates serving in a business capacity in the Peace Corps.

Business sector volunteers have business or public administration degrees or experience and, according to Roskelley, the same skills needed to be successful in today's marketplace: strong leadership and communications skills and resourcefulness. Illinois graduates are serving as a small business development advisor, community economic development specialist, junior achievement leader, and instructor of business courses at a university.

“Illinois can be proud it has such a strong history with the Peace Corps. We rely heavily on Illinois for high quality, service-oriented volunteers and have for many years. Our 2001 statistics show Illinois ranking 13th nationwide in the number of grads currently serving in the Peace Corps,” says Roskelley.

John Kennedy signed an executive order in early 1961 establishing the Peace Corps. Later that year, Congress approved legislation authorizing the organization to “promote world peace and friendship.” Since 1961 more than 163,000 Americans have served in the Peace Corps in 135 countries. This year 7,300 volunteers are serving in 70 countries. Business sector volunteers comprise approximately 13 percent of the positions with the organization.

Nationally recognized as one of the leading business schools, the College of Commerce and Business Administration has outstanding programs in accounting, business, economics, and finance. The college enrolls more than 3,000 undergraduates, 700 MBA and master's students, and 175 doctoral candidates from all 50 states and more than 30 countries worldwide.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a comprehensive, major public university that is ranked among the best in the world. As a land-grant institution chartered in 1867, it provides undergraduate and graduate education in more than 150 fields of study, conducts both theoretical and applied research, and provides public service to the state and the nation. Two-thousand faculty members serve 26,000 undergraduates and 10,000 graduate and professional students.