Wellesley a Founding Member of Davis United World Colleges Scholarship Program

December 12, 2012

On November 29, Wellesley’s Davis United World Scholars gathered at the home of President H. Kim Bottomly, to meet one another and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the United World Colleges, international secondary schools that offer an "educational experience based on shared learning, collaboration and understanding so that the students would act as champions of peace." In 2000 Wellesley became a founding partner in the Davis-United World College Scholars program, which helps UWC graduates attend American colleges and universities. In those 12 years more than 180 UWC alumnae have attended Wellesley through this program.

The fall semester reception at the president’s house has become a tradition, welcoming first years to the “sisterhood within the sisterhood” of Davis-UWC scholars at Wellesley. There are currently 53 UWC students at Wellesley, hailing from 32 different countries; 20 are first years, and there are 11 sophomores, 13 juniors, and nine seniors. They represent all 12 of the United World Colleges.

In addition to the current students, several Davis-UWC alumnae attended the reception, and all toasted the founding of the United World College system with the establishment of the first of its schools in 1962. The UWC has grown to include 12 (secondary school) colleges, and has educated more than 50,000 students from 180 countries.

President Bottomly, Dean of Academic Affairs Dick French, Dean of Students Debra Demeis, Director of Slater International Center Karen Pabon, and Associate Dean of Students Michelle Lepore each spoke briefly to the assembled guests, and several seniors shared their reflections on being a UWC Wellesley College student and their high hopes for the first-year students.

As President Bottomly noted, Wellesley shares many of the same values of the UWC program: disciplined, critical thinking; a recognition and celebration of the importance of diversity—of perspectives, life experiences, socioeconomic backgrounds, and of cultural, religious, and national heritage. The two institutions also share the values of leadership, service, and making a contribution to society.  Bottomly welcomed the students as “promising leaders” whose UWC training and international makeup are an important component of Wellesley’s student body.  “On a final note,” she said, “ I want to say how grateful I am to Shelby and Gale Davis for their generosity in supporting this important program, which has enabled so many women to attend Wellesley College over the last 12 years.”