Giving to Brown

An International Celebration


On Thursday, April 24th, founders of the Davis United World College (UWC) Scholars Program, Brown Davis Scholars, and University administrators gathered at the Hope Club for an afternoon of celebration and thanksgiving. Sunlight poured through the dining-room windows as scholars greeted one another in an array of languages, reconnecting with old friends and making a few new ones.

“What you’re doing is something that’s enriching the lives of these students, enriching the Brown community and enriching the world,” said Brown University President Christina H. Paxson, before presenting Gale and Shelby M.C. Davis with a commemorative, hand-bound book of photographs and notes of gratitude, like the one below, from current Davis Scholars at Brown. 

“I want to thank you for changing the course of my life. The past four years at Brown have shaped me into an engaged, passionate, capable young person. But my debt to you is much deeper,” wrote Rosalyn Price-Waldman ’14.

The Davis-UWC Scholars Program, the world’s largest, privately funded international scholarship program, began in 2000 and provides financial support to UWC high school graduates who matriculate at one of the program’s 91 partner institutions. Since 2007, Brown has won the Davis Cup three times, an award bestowed upon the school with the highest number of first-year enrollees. Among the 141 current Davis Scholars at Brown--the highest total enrollment of any Davis-affiliated university--over fifty countries are represented.

Shelby Davis—who was greeted with raucous applause—spoke on how the program came to fruition and what it means to him, personally: “It’s a win-win. You get the scholarship, and I get to experience your idealism, your activism and your energy. The world needs dreamers, the world needs doers, but most importantly, the world needs dreamers who do.” 

“We’re all very thankful to Mr. Davis,” said Rafael Contreras ‘15. “Being able to come to Brown through the Davis Program has given me the opportunity to learn from my peers and for me to share what I know from my experiences as an international student.”

Watson Institute Director Rick Locke also spoke, encouraging the roomful of Davis Scholars to leverage their particular interest in the world by getting involved with the institute: “We teach you to go out into the world and do something. That’s why the Davis-UWC Program is so important.”