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Press Release

Barbara Laskin

Macalester College Receives $13.5 Million Gift to
Support International Students

St. Paul, Minn. - March 6 -- Macalester College today announced that it will receive a gift of $13.5 million from Philanthropist Shelby Moore Cullom Davis.  Davis’s gift will provide scholarship support for international students and is the largest donation for this purpose in the college’s history.

Davis, founder of Davis Advisors, L.P., a mutual fund and money management firm, is making the gift through The Davis United World College Scholars Program in support of graduates of the United World Colleges (UWC), a network of 12 secondary schools around the world.  UWC graduates, who enroll in one of a select group of American colleges and universities, including Macalester, are eligible for support through the Davis UWC Scholars Program.

Since 1986, when Macalester began recruiting UWC graduates, 258 have enrolled at Macalester.  Many have gone on to become U.N. officials, business leaders, educators and authors.

“UWC students are so motivated and hungry for knowledge,” Davis said. “And the UWC mission is to achieve peace and understanding through education. These students pick this up rapidly and want to make a difference in the world. So that makes me a passionate giver, to follow that lead.”

Macalester currently has 93 Davis Scholars. This spring, 33 of them will graduate. No other U.S. college or university will have more Davis Scholars graduate this year. (Macalester has 239 international students). Currently, Davis’s financial support enables more than 1,400 United World College Scholars to earn degrees at 88 U.S. colleges and universities.

The 12 United World Colleges are located in Africa, Europe, Asia, South and Central America, Great Britain, Canada and the U.S. The students help to internationalize U.S. college campuses and, at the same time, acquaint U.S. students with their cultures, languages and countries. Davis Scholars each have been receiving up to $10,000 per year in need-based aid. With today’s announcement, each new Davis Scholar enrolling at Macalester next fall will receive up to $20,000 per year, or double the current amount. Davis’s total giving for international education will go from $20 million annually to $40 million over the next few years. American students who attend UWC schools are also eligible to be considered for the Davis Scholars Program.

“I am pleased to continue my support for students attending Macalester from the United World College program,” Davis said. “The scholarship program helps support international learning and cooperation at a time when they are badly needed.”

“Mr. Davis’s gift today is truly extraordinary,” said Macalester President Brian C. Rosenberg. “On an individual level, it provides bright, globally-engaged students with the chance to study and learn in the United States along with students from 75 countries. On a larger scale, it demonstrates a tremendous commitment to the idea that international education, especially in these troubled times, has a significant impact in the world. Mr. Davis has provided a wonderful opportunity for Macalester and for our international students. We are most grateful.”

Davis and Philip O. Geier, executive director of the Davis United World College Scholars program, are at Macalester today to receive honorary degrees from the college and to attend a meeting of the college’s Global Advisory Board of the Institute for Global Citizenship. Geier, former president of the United World College-USA in New Mexico, is a member of the Global Advisory Board.

The citation for Davis’ honorary degree says in part: “While the enormity of your impact is difficult to measure, your generosity at Macalester is immediately tangible, in the faces of the students your support, the academic programs in which they excel, and in the global citizenship you epitomize.”

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 1,873 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism and civic engagement.