President’s Page

Dr. Victoria Mora - UWC-USA President

Greetings from UWC-USA!

I am truly fortunate to lead a school whose mission speaks boldly to the present while envisioning a brighter future. The UWC movement was founded in response to the dark days of the Cold War. It confronted isolationism and a brand of nationalism that threatened the planet and challenged our shared sense of responsibility for its future. Our mission remains as relevant today as it ever was.

A two-year experience at UWC-USA immerses students in an environment and community that tests their values and the power of their citizenship and leadership. We are a microcosm of the world, situated in an environment impacted by climate change, and part of a diverse, global population collaborating across national, cultural, religious, and socio-economic differences. At UWC-USA, we’re not only preparing our students for their future when we engage them in academics, experiential learning, and a residential community. We’re inviting them to fully contribute to the kind of classroom and community they can be proud of. We’re inviting them to begin their journey as global citizens.

Our students come to us with a sense of idealism and a desire to change the world. They leave with tools to do so. They come to us with a narrow view of the world and leave with friends from every populated continent. They come to us unsure how to build a great community.

UWC-USA is a human community bound by a belief that education is a force for good. Won’t you engage our mission and join us in making education a force for peace and a sustainable future?

With hope and optimism,

Victoria J. Mora, Ph.D.

“The virtue and the strength of UWC is that it provides small, but powerful cells of innovation, catalysts for change, breaking barriers of habit and opening broader vistas of experience for both pupils and educationalists.”

— Nelson Mandela, Former UWC President

Profile

Victoria is the fifth president of the United World College-USA in Montezuma, N.M. UWC-USA is one of 18 schools in a global movement that makes education a force for peace and a sustainable future. The only UWC campus in the United States, the school has 220 students from 94 countries. Since becoming a first-generation college graduate, Victoria has pursued her passion for education as a professor and administrator in higher education.

Contact

Do you have a question for Victoria? Would you like more information about UWC-USA and her work?

Featured Video

Bibi MacDougall ’20 spoke at virtual graduation this spring. She shared her reflections on UWC-USA and the importance of passion.

Victoria speaks and writes frequently about international education, peace studies, sustainability, women in education, global citizenship, and school leadership. 

You can also follow Victoria on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.

On Liberty and Cheese

Defiantly staring up at a burly TSA officer at Newark Liberty International Airport, I had a revelation about the delicate balance between security and liberty.

OpEd Student Visas – February 2017

“I speak on behalf of international education at the secondary level.  This executive order cuts at the heart of our tremendous capacity to shape young people for the rest of their lives, especially in the direction of mutual understanding that honors difference even as it lays claim to our shared humanity.”

Statement on the Murder of George Floyd – June 2020

“We are called to stand up for George Floyd and for so many others whose lives have been taken by injustice here in the United States and all over the world. Wherever we are — in our homes, in our workplaces, in the UWC movement — we are being called to stand up for peace. And for the justice that makes it possible. We are also being called to listen, especially to the Other. It is, as ever, the only way forward.”

 

As the pandemic set in, Victoria wrote a series of communications to the UWC-USA community to update them on the changes the coronavirus necessitated at UWC-USA.

March 17 

Big challenges can lead to significant learning and the coronavirus pandemic is no exception. To learn more about our plans, what the immediate future holds, and more details about our response, please visit the website for further information.

March 24

It’s difficult to express the gratitude that all of us feel for the ways our community has risen to the challenge facing us.

March 31

I’m pleased to report that our first day of distance learning began yesterday. Not surprisingly, our students are demonstrating the resilience we would expect.

April 7

It is wonderful to be part of such a dedicated group of professionals who know that our mission won’t be deterred in the face of global crisis. In fact, this is when our mission is more important than ever!

April 14

At UWC, we talk a lot about resilience. And we hold out for ourselves the possibility that we just might be not only dreamers, not only doers, but  “dreamers who do.”

April 21

As part of our effort to contribute to communal sustainability at this difficult time, we have been working for the past few weeks with a local shelter and food pantry, the Samaritan House, to provide over 400 meals per week to support a spike in local need. You can read about this important initiative here.

April 28

We’re all pulling in the same direction with the same goals in mind. We’re all seeking the facts that will inform our decisions in a time when facts are evolving. I can think of no other community I would want to be working with right now than the UWC community of parents, faculty, staff, friends, volunteers and alumni.

May 5

To paraphrase Kurt Hahn, this is the time for us to show up as “crew, not passengers.” This is the time for all members of our school community to build the future that is only possible by our combined efforts.

May 19

Our task is clear: make sure that we offer a high quality, culturally rich, humanly transformative UWC-USA educational experience–academic, experiential, residential–while also keeping our campus and local community safe and managing our resources responsibly. A clear task, but not simple.

June 19

You can also write letters or call your congressional delegations. Join a conversation that makes you uncomfortable. Offer the resources you have, be they time, talent, or treasure. Take note and respond. It really only matters that we show up. And act.

Fall Welcome Ceremony 2019

We’re living in an age when our great power, our attention, is under threat.

Matriculation Ceremony 2017

What better way to do this than to speak one another’s names? And by so doing, begin to acknowledge publicly the different languages and cultures each of us carries with us, begin to acknowledge publicly that we have work to do to understand one another, starting with learning how to pronounce one another’s names?

Victoria often writes an introductory note to alumni as part of the Alumni E-News. Her notes to alumni typically speak to the UWC-USA experience, the importance of staying connected to the school, and the power of the UWC mission.

September 2018

The vision we all share for a more sustainable and peaceful world gives us energy and purpose in our daily work here in Montezuma. I hope you carry memories from your time here that give you energy and purpose to make a positive difference wherever you are. Thank you for all you do for UWC-USA and the UWC movement.

April 2018

As usual, the spring ushered in Project Week at UWC-USA. As I hope our alumni remember fondly, it is a time for students and faculty to get out on the road and work on something that is challenging, interesting, and always meaningful. I’m impressed with the projects they undertake.

September 2019

Our new Wednesday morning campus service model has me inspired! There is something incredibly powerful about taking time out to labor side by side in service of improving our campus for everyone’s enjoyment and safety. There is also something incredibly powerful about expressing our gratitude to all who labor long hours to support our classroom, experiential, and residential experience by joining them and serving under their leadership.

August 2019

The first-year students have arrived! They deserve the exclamation point. They have filled the place with enthusiasm and excitement, jumping in with both feet to all of the activities planned for them. I know because I joined them for Dance Fun in the auditorium last night, where we were treated to Latinx, Afro-Caribbean, and Bollywood dance lessons led by students who were themselves first-years just last year.

March 2020

During the last several days I have been constantly reminded of a quote from our founder, Kurt Hahn, and so I share it with you here.“There is more in you than you think.” Let’s each of us remember this about ourselves in the days ahead, and let’s expect it of one another, too.

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