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Davis Philanthropy Leverages Other Donors

At Amherst College and the University of Florida, new scholarship initiatives inspired by or modeled on the Davis UWC Scholars Program will provide exciting support for the studies of promising international students.

A pledge of $6 million over the next six years by alumnus Arthur W. Koenig ‘66 is enabling Amherst College to create the Koenig Scholarship Program. Koenig calls the program an investment: It will benefit talented students of limited means from Latin America and Africa and also will support annual recruitment trips to those regions.

Koenig hopes not only that the scholarship recipients will succeed, both at Amherst and in their lives, but also “that the students and staff at Amherst are influenced by these students.” Inspiring Koenig’s gift, in part, was a recent recommendation by Amherst’s faculty that the college increase the number of international students on campus and extend its need-blind financial-aid policies to those students.

“The structure of the Koenig Scholars Program is modeled on the Davis UWC Scholars Program in several ways,” said Robyn Piggott, special assistant to Amherst President Anthony W. Marx. “It will support entering cohorts of five students from Latin America or Africa each year, meeting their full demonstrated financial need for all their four years at the college. The program also provides some funding for admission staff recruitment trips to both continents each year.

“Mr. Koenig’s unique twist on the UWC model, which we are all very excited about, is providing small stipends to African and Latin American students who do recruitment work at underserved secondary schools in their home countries in the summer vacation,” she added. “This will create a very powerful partnership between students and admission staff.”

“Personally,” Arthur Koenig said, “I would like to step out of my usual life by watching the development of these students.”

At the University of Florida, emerita professor of education Dr. Margaret Early was inspired by a lunch she had with Davis UWC Scholars from Italy and Nepal. Later she met several more Scholars, and decided to fund a portion of one Davis UWC Scholar’s education through a gift to the University of Florida Foundation.

“I prefer not to know which one!” said Early, who continues to enjoy getting together for meals with various Davis UWC Scholars. A lifelong educator, Early believes the Davis UWC Scholars Program is doing something important.

“Mixing young people from many different nationalities and parts of the world — that seems like a very good idea,” she said.