January 15, 2002 - US Senate: Letter from Founding Director Sargent Shriver read into the record of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

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By Admin1 (admin) on Tuesday, January 15, 2002 - 5:46 pm: Edit Post

Letter from Founding Director Sargent Shriver read into the record of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee


On December 12, 2001 in the meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee where the vote was taken on the nomination of Gaddi Vasquez for Peace Corps Director, Senator Chris Dodd, an RPCV who served in the Dominican Republic and who chairs the subcomittee that oversees the Peace Corps, read into the Senate Record a letter he had received from Founding Peace Corps Director Sargent Shriver. We have been able to obtain a copy of the letter from the public record and it is our honor to share it with the Returned Volunteer community.

Read our full report on the meeting of the Foreign Relations Committee at:

Meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

The Honorable Christopher J. Dodd
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chris

Please forgive me for being a belated voice, yet a hopeful one, urging you first of all to give great respect to the testimony given to your Committee by Jack Vaughn. I believe his statement was honest, accurate, worthy of attention and favorable response.

I was also pleased by the words Barbara Ann Ferris spoke to your Committee. I am glad that an intelligent, well-traveled woman spoke out against the appointment of Gaddi Vasquez.

I write this letter now to you, Chris, because I have been asked to do so by a large number of human beings, residents in your own State of Connecticut, members of the Board of Directors of the Yale University Daily News, who reacted with incredible enthusiasm to a speech I gave up there eleven days ago. Attending their banquet were the leaders of the Yale Daily News and members of the Yale University faculty, all of whom gave me a standing ovation, much to my surprise, at the end of the 15 minute talk.

May I ask you please just to take the time to read the text of the speech I gave from page 3 to the end of the speech on page 8? In other words, there are five pages, double-spaced and therefore only 2 & 1/2 single type written pages. I ask you to read these few pages, Senator, because scores of persons present when I gave the talk have begged me to propagandize it. I send it to you because it directly relates to the hearings in process concerning Gaddi Vasquez. The proposal for the Peace Corps' future which I describe in those pages of the speech at Yale contain suggestions for the future of the Peace Corps and of our country, which you especially as an RPCV might well read with interest and competence. And, may I add, that maybe, just maybe, you would see that Gaddi Vasquez is totally unqualified to bring about the creation of the new Peace Corps which I call for in the speech which I hope you will read.

Forgive me, Chris, for sticking my nose into the proceedings, but I am hoping that the suggestions in my speech for the future of the Peace Corps will appeal to you and help you to see that Gaddi Vasquez is lacking in scores of ways for putting together anything like the Peace Corps suggested in my speech at Yale. I was recommending a new Peace Corps, in keeping also with the aspiration, vision, and compassion of the original Peace Corps.

I'm hoping that my idea for a new Peace Corps is one which (you) could superbly support and recommend to Congress and to our country. The concept of an additional goal is something the Peace Corps could easily adopt and put into operation especially if you, dear Senator, would introduce the legislation needed to amend the Peace Corps Act. From my point of view, you could easily and accurately be proclaimed as the man whose power and experience enabled him to capitalize upon a new idea for a resurgent new Peace Corps exactly envisioned for the new World of the 21st Century.


Sargent Shriver

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