American philanthropist pledges $100 million to global educational movement
Posted 02/01/2018 06:57PM


February 1, 2018

American philanthropist Shelby Davis has pledged more than $100 million to a global education movement, whose only U.S. campus lies in the high mountains of Northern New Mexico.

The donation to the United World College will fund 100 scholarships annually for students from more than 150 countries to attend one of the 17 campuses worldwide for their final two years of high school. UWC brings students from around the globe to live and learn together with a shared mission for peace. Many could only dream of this opportunity. Eighty percent of the students on the UWC-USA campus in Montezuma, N.M., attend on scholarships. This year, the campus has 222 students from 94 countries.

"Shelby's generosity to the UWC movement and to the USA campus has been tremendous," said Dr. Victoria J. Mora, president of UWC-USA. "These scholarships ensure that our students will have a deeply important educational experience that is all too rare in the United States and across the globe -- learning and living with others who are separated by significant economic divides."

Davis' donation will provide partial funding for six students from Barbados, Bulgaria, Haiti, Nicaragua, Paraguay and the Philippines to attend UWC-USA in 2018-19. Davis, the founder of Davis Advisors mutual fund management company, came to know UWC through the U.S. campus in New Mexico, Mora said. "He made an impact on the world then by funding U.S. Davis scholars to go to UWC campuses all over the world, including in New Mexico," she said. "With this most recent gift, he's extending that global impact further." Davis's contribution doesn't stop with the 17 campuses. He also helps pay for UWC students to attend American colleges and universities. Davis' philanthropy is currently contributing more than $45 million annually to this cause, which to date has supported more than 6,000 scholars at 91 U.S. colleges and universities.

The UWC International Office in London on Wednesday announced the record-breaking donation to the UWC movement from Davis. The donation will be rolled out through the newly established Davis-UWC Dare to Dream program, reflecting an important wish voiced by Davis for his engagement in the field of international education when making this gift. The 100 scholarships will be granted to students from backgrounds who would usually wouldn't get the chance of a world-class education like that offered by UWC. "UWC provides a unique education to students from across the world independent of their socio-economic means," Davis said. "Each year, UWC national committees identify promising young people in almost 160 countries to attend UWC schools and give them access to an international education they would otherwise never even dare to dream of. We need to equip a new generation to work towards a better world."

Meet Mzwakithi Shongwe, '12, who came to UWC-USA from Swaziland.


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UWC-USA is one of 17 UWCs on five continents. Other countries that have UWCs include Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Swaziland, Thailand, and Wales.


UWC-USA students perform more than 18,700 hours of service every year through our association with 25 community partners. More than 2,500 people in Las Vegas, N.M. and the surrounding community have benefited from service projects led by UWC-USA students.


UWC-USA has 228 students representing more than 70 countries, from Armenia to Zimbabwe. Eleven students come from countries identified as conflict regions. Representation within our student body includes: Africa 10%, Asia 28%, Europe 29%, North America 23%, South America 10%.


Students don’t apply directly to the school; they are selected by committees in their home countries based on academic achievement, leadership, and curiosity about and involvement with global events and cultures.


Philanthropist Shelby Davis has created a $40 million endowment that provides 50 U.S. students with full scholarships to attend a UWC every year.


Our more than 3,357 UWC-USA alumni are spread across the globe: North America 26%, Latin America and Caribbean 16%, Africa 10%, Middle East 6%, Asia 14%, Europe 21%, Pacific 2%


UWC-USA offers the International Baccalaureate diploma program. Students can choose from IB classes in 28 subjects – a remarkable number given the size of the school.

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