Celebrate the Past and Chart the Future

Well after midnight on Oct. 14, 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy arrived at the Michigan Union after a long day of campaigning for the presidency. Speaking from the center of the stone staircase, he challenged University of Michigan students to dedicate themselves to global peace and justice by living and working in developing nations—and hundreds responded with signed petitions.

From that powerful idea and the action of the U-M students grew the Peace Corps, the signature program that has defined international volunteer service for the past fifty years. Since 1960, nearly 200,000 Americans, including 2,200 U-M graduates, have lived abroad in the service of world peace, and making a difference in the lives of others.

Learn more about the many exciting events we have planned to commemorate this historic event!