U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee and Chair of the subcommittee that oversees the Peace Corps, released the following statement today on the 52nd anniversary of the Peace Corps:
"Fifty two years after President John F. Kennedy signed the Executive Order establishing the Peace Corps, I am proud of all the Peace Corps volunteers who make the brave choice to dedicate their time to serve others, including my niece, who just returned from 27 months in Cameroon. When I was in law school, I decided to take a year off from my studies to work with Jesuit missionaries in Honduras. I learned invaluable life lessons from that experience that I have carried with me throughout my entire life, and I hope today's volunteers have a similar experience.
"I am excited to be a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, and Chair the subcommittee that has jurisdiction over the Peace Corps. I will be a champion of their work because it will serve the future interests of our nation and help us remain a global leader. I am so thankful for all of those who dedicate their time to service, whether in the Peace Corps, the military, or another capacity, and as Senator I will continue to support their work. I am also proud that Virginians have such an active presence in the Peace Corps and commend the Commonwealth's universities for continuing to produce high numbers of volunteers."
On the 52nd anniversary, Kaine sent letters to all 247 Virginians currently serving around the world in the Peace Corps. Virginia ranked among the top ten states in the nation for number of Peace Corps volunteers serving in 2012. The University of Virginia and College of William and Mary both ranked among the top 25 colleges and universities of their size that produced the most volunteers last year and the University of Mary Washington produced the third most volunteers of all small colleges and universities in the nation.