Category Archives: Event

Bob Klein: Inspiration for the Peace Corps Community Archive

Bob Klein was among the first Peace Corps volunteers. After teaching in Ghana (1961-1963), he joined the Peace Corps overseas staff.  He served as Ghana Country Director from 1966 until 1968.  Bob was an ardent advocate for the documentation and preservation of the experiences of individual Peace Corps volunteers. He served as organizer for the Returned Peace Corps Archives Project, which collects Peace Corps oral histories in cooperation with the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.  Between 1999 and 2012, Bob interviewed close to 300 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.  As the fiftieth anniversary of the Peace Corps approached, he increasingly stressed the importance of collecting archival materials.  With the assistance of Joanne Roll and Pat Wand, Bob prepared a concept statement for a Peace Corps Volunteer archive which they shared with the University Librarian at American University in late 2011.  This document became the starting point for a series of discussions which resulted in the inauguration of the Peace Corps Community Archive in March of 2013.

Before Bob Klein passed away unexpectedly in April 2012, he donated his papers to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.  The collection includes a draft of his book, Being First, correspondence, Peace Corps publications, and circulars & memoranda from the Peace Corps Accra office.

Waging Peace Through a Lifetime of Service: Peace Corps Symposium

The American University Peace Corps symposium, Waging Peace Through a Lifetime of Service, was held on Thursday March 21st in the Abramson Family Founder’s Room in the School of International Service. The symposium featured fourteen returned Peace Corps volunteers (RPCVs), representing every decade of the Peace Corps, as well as every continent on which the Peace Corps has worked.  The volunteers also represented a diverse range of professional sectors, including the fields of education, Foreign Service, peacebuilding, academia, and government.

The RPCVs shared their five-minute Peace Corps story by answering twenty strategic questions.  The format of the presentations allowed the audience to make comparisons across time and place, telling the story not only of the Peace Corps, but also of international travel and international service.

Five friends of the Peace Corps also spoke, each offering their own unique perspective on Peace Corps and service.

For those of you who were not able to attend, you can watch the symposium via UStream.