For a facinating account of the speech credited with launching the Peace Corps, read: 

JFK at the Union: The unknown story of the Peace Corps speech

This week, it will have been 52 years since the Peace Corps was formally established, following John F Kennedy’s challenge to students at the University of Michigan to support people in the developing world.

I hope you’ll join me in sharing my utmost appreciation for the many Erbers and other University of Michigan students and alums who have taken up this challenge, and have contributed two years of their lives to serving others across the globe.  They strengthen us as a country and as a community, not just through their work abroad, but also by enriching our academic, professional, and personal experiences.  Their perspectives help us build empathy for people all around the world, which in turn prepare us to better make socially and environmentally sustainable change for us all.

Thank you to our Erb Community Peace Corps Volunteers:

Current Students

  • Stephen Ahn, Honduras ( ’15)
  • Ira Shaughnessy, Ghana (’13)
  • Sheena VanLeuven, Benin (’15)


  • Liz Abbett, Macedonia (’10)
  • Michael Buday, Jamaica (’11)
  • Marshall Chase, Togo (’06)
  • Leonore Hijazi, Benin (’10)
  • Heather Lair, Honduras (’99)
  • James Lloyd, Mongolia (’03)
  • Jenn Ritchey, Benin (’12)
  • Nate Springer, Paraguay (’11)
  • Elizabeth Terry, Senegal (’03)
  • Beth Uhlhorn, Cameroon (’10)
  • Matthew Welch, Peru (’09)
  • Alexis Olans, Nicaragua (Erb ’07)