New Peace Corps Fellows Program in International Relations at Yale University
"A partnership between the MacMillan Center and the Peace Corps is a natural fit," said Yale Graduate School Dean Jon Butler. "Both organizations promote international understanding and appreciation. Volunteers’ real-life experiences in the field will add a new dimension to the intellectual excitement of the IR program." After completing their service, returned Peace Corps volunteers will apply to Yale Graduate School through the regular admissions process. If admitted, they will enroll as Fellows in the international relations master’s degree program. This two year program is part of Yale’s Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies. In addition to the IR program, Peace Corps Fellows at Yale may also pursue any of the multi-disciplinary degree programs available through the MacMillan Center. Options for joint degrees include forestry and environmental studies, management, law, and public health.
Yale is the alma mater of Peace Corps Founding Director Sargent Shriver. Shriver made a speech at Yale University’s Daily News Annual Banquet in 2003 calling for a Fourth Goal for the Peace Corps
I’ve been asked a lot of critical questions about the Peace Corps in response to the horrific events of September 11. How is it possible that so many citizens of Afghanistan clearly hate Americans in spite of years of service from American Peace Corps Volunteers working side by side with them? Why would we want to send new volunteers to Pakistan or Afghanistan today, when terrorists and killers there would love to have more innocent Americans to kill? These are tough questions that raise good points. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I can tell you this:
The Peace Corps WAS there in Afghanistan, and virtually everywhere else in the world, and some lives were changed – both the lives of American volunteers, and lives of the people they served. Is it America’s primary purpose in the world to change and improve lives, or to snuff them out? This is a question that IS relevant to the Peace Corps – but it suggests a larger, more expansive mission than the small Peace Corps our nation is financing now.
Why look to the Peace Corps in a time of such extreme danger? I believe it’s necessary to do so, because we’re now living in a new world; and without peace, the new world will have no future, except death! Isn’t this the challenge which bin Laden and other terrorist groups have put before us? “What have you got,” they say to us, “that is truly worth defending? Your sky-scrapers; your blue chip stocks; your luxury cars; your trade agreements; your computer networks; your flashy movies; your fast food? Stack all that up against men like ours who readily give up their lives for God, and you’ve got nothing, America! Nothing!”
Maybe they’re right. Let’s suppose for a moment that they are. What have we got that’s worth defending, worth dying for? I say that peace is the answer. No matter how many bombs we drop, no matter how skillfully our soldiers fight, we are not responding to the ultimate challenge until we show the world how and why we must all learn to live in peace – until peace becomes the only permanent alternative to war.
Our present world cries out for a new Peace Corps—a vastly improved, expanded, and profoundly deeper enterprise. Why? Simply because our capacity to kill each other has far outstripped our capacity to live together. Now we live in a world of low-tech killing, where plastic knives and innocent-looking envelopes can do the job just as efficiently as nuclear bombs. There must be an alternative to this endless cycle of killing– not just for America’s sake, but for all of humanity.
Peace is much more than the mere absence of war. Peace requires the simple but powerful recognition that what we have in common as human beings is more important and crucial than what divides us.
You may think these are just the rantings of an old man defending his outdated ideas. But I’m not defending the old Peace Corps – I’m attacking it! We didn’t go far enough! Our dreams were large, but our actions were small. We never really gave the goal of “World Wide Peace” an overwhelming commitment or established a clear, inspiring vision for attaining it. If we had, the world wouldn’t be in the mess we are in. We may have only one more opportunity to get it right. Read the rest of Shriver's speech at Yale.