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March 2, 2011

UCLA played a crucial role during the formative days of the Peace Corps with approximately ten percent of all departing volunteers training on the campus between 1961 and 1969. To date, more than 1,800 UCLA graduates have served in the Peace Corps, making UCLA one of the top producers of Peace Corps volunteers.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy signing the executive order creating the Peace Corps, Chancellor Gene Block welcomed a distinguished panel to discuss the future of the organization. Moderated by MSNBC host Chris Matthews, the panel included: Aaron S. Williams, Peace Corps director; Maureen Orth M.S. ’69, Vanity Fair special correspondent; and Frank Mankiewicz ’47, former regional Peace Corps director for Latin America, former director of National Public Radio, and former press secretary for Senator Robert F. Kennedy.

Guests were also invited to a reception and to an exclusive preview of an exhibit in the Powell Library Rotunda. The exhibit, No Greater Service: UCLA and the Peace Corps, follows “Kennedy’s Kids” as they traveled the world to make a difference through a special collection of maps, photographs, personal recollections and mementos.