WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) released the following statement after the Peace Corps announced that three Washington State universities received the top rankings in the small, medium and large categories:

“Today's announcement is unexpected but not surprising. Washington State boasts an impressive collection of universities and it’s now clear that in addition to academic excellence, we are also home to an accomplished community of humanitarians and ambassadors of peace. The University of Washington, Western Washington University and Gonzaga University should be very proud of this distinction.

“I had the opportunity to be a part of a similar, precursor program just before the Peace Corps’ 1961 founding and it was a life changing experience. With employment benefits, student loan aid, technical training, cross-cultural exposure and unique travel opportunity, the Corps is transformative and I would encourage any student to join.

“I offer my sincerest congratulations to University of Washington President Michael Young, Western Washington President Bruce Shepard and Gonzaga President Thayne M. McCulloh and their schools.”