Alumni of the Peace Corps will hold their first national gathering in a decade this weekend in Minneapolis.
National Peace Corps Association President Kevin Quigley says U.S. Sen. Hubert Humphrey created a youth program that inspired President John F. Kennedy to challenge Americans to serve their country in what eventually become the Peace Corps.
Quigley says that's why the association chose to regroup in Minnesota.
"Minnesota is just key to the Peace Corps," Quigley says, "and really no place more appropriate to come and restart this annual tradition of Peace Corps community members getting together and sharing their experiences. But more importantly, talking about how they can fulfill the mission of the Peace Corps."
He adds: "Hubert Humphrey is really one of the unacknowledged godfathers of the Peace Corps."
The annual gatherings of alumni had petered out in the late 1990s as the generation of volunteers who served in the 1960s and 1970s became less mobile. Quigley says it's important to get together regularly and remember their experiences, and now there's a new generation that wants to get together.
More than 200,000 people have served in nearly 140 countries since the Peace Corps was created. Quigley says Minnesota is one of the top states in providing Peace Corps volunteers, and the University of Minnesota is one of the top five colleges producing volunteers.
Hundreds of people are attending the event at the Minneapolis Convention Center from Friday through Sunday.