ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Members of the University of New Mexico Peace Corps Outward Bound Training 1963 class, known as Colombia VIII, reunited at the university on Tuesday.

The reunion brought together the class of now 13 to reflect on their shared experience. The College of University Libraries & Learning Sciences (CULLS) shared photos from its archives which showed the former students training for the Peace Corps at UNM.

Story continues below

Among the group was Ginny and Jon Deason who met during the program, and have since been married for 56 years. “The key to a long marriage is having the same values, I think,” Ginny Deason said.

“It was such a pleasure seeing the Peace Corps reunion today. I’m impressed that so many people traveled from around the country to be here. It just shows how important the Peace Corps were to everyone’s lives,” University Archivist Portia Vescio said. 

Vescio, Graduate Student Amber Lane and Macon McCrossen led the organization of the event, which was started by the late Patricia Wand. Wand, who was also a member of Colombia VIII, passed away in May. “This was all Pat. Before Pat passed, she said to me that Portia is great, and that she is doing everything she would,” McCrossen said.

UNM offers its Peace Corps Prep Program through the Global Education Office, where volunteers serve for 27 months in one of over 60 different countries.  Learn more about it here