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Davis United World College Scholars


Pilot Schools Reflect on 20 Years

Wellesley College

For the past 20 years, the Davis United World Scholars Program has supported Wellesley’s commitment to international initiatives that help students pursue their place, purpose, and passion as engaged learners in a diverse and interdependent College and world.

As one of the five founding institutions in the UWC Program, Wellesley has welcomed 205 Scholars from around the globe since 2000, and these bright students have added an important voice and perspective to our campus community. Like the Davis UWC Scholars Program itself, Wellesley is committed to developing critical thinking, celebrating diversity, and preparing students for leadership and service. The Davis UWC Scholars exemplify the talent, determination, and potential of a Wellesley student, and it is clear that Wellesley College is the place for them to build on their experiences in the Davis UWC Program. They come to the College with an understanding of the importance of diversity, a commitment to learning, and a desire to make a meaningful contribution to their world.

Wellesley’s partnership in the Davis UWC program began when the College was undertaking a global-education initiative that sought to globalize the curriculum; make study-abroad programs and international internships more widely available; and recruit more highly-qualified international students and support them financially. Today, the percentage of international students enrolled at Wellesley has doubled to 12.7 percent, up from 6 percent in 2000. The Davis UWC Program has been a critical partner in enabling us to bring the most talented international students to Wellesley, helping to diversify the student body, the curriculum, and students’ ways of engaging with the global community.

Over the past 10 years, since the program began, we’ve had 26 Davis UWC scholars selected for the Madeleine Korbel Albright ’59 Institute for Global Affairs. Through partnerships with a global network of some of the world’s leading institutions and organizations, which serve as internship hosts for Albright Fellows, the Institute encourages Fellows to be active change agents. Students participate in full-time internships outside their country of origin, applying what they have learned in the classroom to gain hands-on experience. In so doing, they uphold Wellesley College’s motto, non Ministrari sed Ministrare--not to be served but to serve.

The Davis UWC Scholars bring a passion for learning about the world. They ask critical questions as they consider the multiple perspectives involved in addressing global issues. The Davis UWC Scholars are known to be among the most inquisitive and reflective students in these special programs, and across campus. Through such reflection and active participation, our Davis UWC students transform the institutes and classrooms they engage with by heightening awareness of global issues and encouraging understanding in spaces throughout campus.

Wellesley’s Davis UWC Scholars are first and foremost leaders, and you can see this in all aspects of campus life. During their time at Wellesley they build relationships with their peers and faculty as they demonstrate a commitment to community, social service, and civic engagement. They are well-represented in Wellesley’s leadership and service programs, including the Global Engagement Awards Program, and their leadership with cultural and civic student organizations, including the Slater International Center. Recently, Wellesley’s Davis UWC Scholars have created the Global Tea Series as a way to gather all interested students, faculty, and staff together to discuss issues important to them. Derived from the events and discussions that were a daily part of life at their Davis United World Colleges, the Global Teas engage the campus community in an examination of important international issues. Scholars wanted to find a way to spread awareness about important international matters and, at the same time, make Slater and Wellesley more like their Davis UWC homes while transforming Slater’s programming.

The Davis UWC Scholars Program is promoting international understanding at Wellesley and beyond as it helps our Scholars pursue their place, purpose, and passion as engaged learners in a diverse and interdependent world. At Wellesley, our Scholars join their peers to learn from one another, promote collaboration, create understanding, build community, and advance social justice and equity and they graduate as “Wellesley students,” uniquely prepared to make meaningful and professional contributions to the world and to be major influences in it. All the while, transforming the Wellelsey culture in positive ways.

Wellesley College is honored to be a participant in the Davis United World College Scholars Program. The Davis UWC Scholars bring to Wellesley intercultural skills, lived experiences, and world-views that challenge our students, faculty and staff alike. At no point in time is it more important than in today’s world to bring such perspectives and knowledge to the forefront. We are living in unprecedented times where global events directly affect local communities overnight. Where students need to utilize cross cultural skills and engage in difficult conversations on a daily basis. Where becoming a citizen of the world is not an option but a necessity. We are proud of our Davis UWC Scholars as they will thrive as global leaders and global citizens. Soon enough we will all lean on them to help us shape and reimagine our futures.

Shelby Davis surrounded by Davis UWC Scholars at Wellesley.