Dozens of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers gathered with Colorado State University leaders in the Lory Student Center Theatre on March 1 to celebrate the launch of a project to create a Peace Corps Tribute Garden west of the theatre.
The cold, snowy weather kept it from being a true “groundbreaking” outdoors, but shovels were on hand for photo opportunities following remarks by several speakers, including CSU President Amy Parsons.
The event, held on National Peace Corps Day, kicked off with introductions by Kathleen Fairfax, vice provost for international affairs. She recounted the role that CSU played in the formation of the Peace Corps, which was based largely on a feasibility study developed by former Colorado State University Research Foundation Director Maury Albertson and CSU researcher Pauline Birky-Kreutzer.
Parsons, noting that her in-laws first met while serving as Peace Corps volunteers in Africa, said the creation of a lasting tribute to CSU’s role in establishing the Peace Corps is long overdue.
“Even as it’s held an important place in our history and our hearts, the CSU Peace Corps legacy hasn’t been reflected in the geography of campus for all to see until now,” she said. “So our hope is that this space will be a reminder, a record and an inspiration to future generations.”
Other speakers inçluded CSU Professor Emeritus, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and poet George Wallace and CSU alumnus, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and Larimer County Commissioner John Kefalas.