The Davis United World College Scholars Program is the world's largest privately-funded international scholarship program, having supported more than 4,200 students from more than 140 countries at more than 90 American colleges since its founding in 2000. The College of Idaho is a major beneficiary of the program, with 50 international Davis Scholars currently enrolled.
On March 1, those students will get the chance to personally thank the men responsible for their scholarships as philanthropist Shelby M.C. Davis and international educator Phil Geier visit the C of I campus in Caldwell. “Davis Scholar Day” will include selected acts from the College’s most recent Cultural Show as well as remarks by Davis and Geier, both of whom also will have honorary degrees conferred upon them by College of Idaho President Marv Henberg. The event begins at 3:30 p.m. inside Simplot Dining Hall and will be followed by a reception at 4:45 p.m.
“It would be an understatement to say that I am honored to meet Mr. Davis, because I am so much more grateful than that,” said C of I Davis Scholar Iris Cvijanovic. “From the moment I became a ‘Davis kid’ until the end of my life, every day is full of new opportunities that I would never have gotten if it wasn't for Mr. Davis.”
Since The College of Idaho became a Davis Scholar partner institution in 2006, its international student population has increased dramatically and now accounts for nearly 10 percent of its student body, with more than 40 countries represented on campus. The C of I has one of the highest proportions of international students among colleges in the Northwest.
“The College of Idaho is one of the smallest colleges in the Davis Scholars Program, and the colleges with the smallest populations are where we’ve seen the greatest impact,” said Geier, executive director of the Davis United World College Scholars Program. “The infusion of Davis Scholars into the fabric of these colleges has brought global perspectives into classrooms and all aspects of campus life.”
Geier is a leader in international education. He also developed and runs the Projects for Peace Initiative for internationalist Kathryn W. Davis, begun in 2007. He is an independent consultant specializing in strategic innovation for education as well as transformative philanthropy.
Davis is the founder of Davis Advisors, a mutual fund management company with more than $70 billion under management currently headed by his son, Christopher. In retirement, Davis has become a major philanthropist, contributing more than $40 million annually to the Davis United World College Scholars Program. Davis and his wife, Gale, reside in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including six Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another ten Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu.