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CU-Boulder ranks as top Peace Corps volunteer-producing university

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Over the past few years, Boulder has ranked as America's healthiest, happiest, brainiest, foodiest, most sustainable and worst dressed city -- the list goes on. More recently, the University of Colorado at Boulder was named the top party school. So it's no surprise that CU has topped another list -- and CU President Bruce Benson might be a little more willing to brag about this one. After all, it involves the Peace Corps.

In 2011, CU-Boulder produced more Peace Corps volunteers than any other large university, defined as an institution with over 15,000 undergraduates. And this year, CU landed the number one spot again.

With 112 undergraduate volunteers currently serving in the Peace Corps, CU-Boulder outpaced the runners-up: University of Washington, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Florida and University of Michigan.

CU-Boulder Peace Corps coordinator Alea Richmond says the university's top ranking is a result of both the high qualification of CU applicants, and the university's impressive Peace Corps application rate. "I think it's because CU-Boulder has such an emphasis on community engagement," she says. "So when applicants come to me as a recruiter, they already have professional, hands-on service that makes them competitive as volunteers for the Peace Corps."

And it isn't just CU-Boulder contributing to the Peace Corp's top rankings. "We're seeing a trend across all of Colorado in an increase in volunteers," says LaFhonda Walker, spokesperson for the southwest Peace Corps regional office.

Colorado State University is ranked number thirteen in the large universities category, while Colorado College lands at number ten in the small colleges bracket.

Click to check out the top rankings for 2011 and 2012.

More from our Lists & Weirdness archive: "Boulder is America's happiest city, Colorado 5th happiest state, says Gallup Well-Being survey."

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