Colby College in Waterville, Maine, has announced a $25 million gift from the family of alumnus Andrew Davis (’85, LL.D. ’15 ) and the Davis Family Charitable Trust to fund educational experiences abroad for every Colby student.
The gift will create the DavisConnects program, through which every Colby student will be guaranteed a global experience comprising a facilitated and funded set of internships and research opportunities. Scheduled to launch this fall, the program will assist students in designing a set of experiences to complement their core academic program and connect their courses to the real world beyond academia. To that end, students will begin to map out a flexible plan of course work that includes a unique set of opportunities designed to deepen their education and improve their life outcomes early in their freshman year.
The program also will enable the school to provide additional support to the most talented students in the form of Davis Global Engagement Fellowships. And when Davis fellows return to campus, they will have the opportunity to participate in the Davis Summit on Global Engagement, an annual on-campus event that will connect the entire Colby community to the college’s global initiatives and priorities.
Andrew Davis studied economics at Colby and currently is president of Davis Selected Advisors; he served as a trustee of the college from 1996 to 1999 and as an overseer from 1999 to 2006. In 2000, the Davis United World College Scholars (UWC) program selected Colby College as one of five American institutions to receive full funding for UWC graduates from around the world enrolled at one its pilot institutions. Davis and his family’s past support for Colby includes a $10 million lead gift for construction of the Davis Science Center and a gift to create the Davis New Mexico Scholarship for high-achieving, first-generation, low-income students from that state.
"The Davis family changed American higher education by making the best colleges and universities available to deserving students from around the world through the Davis United World College Scholars program," said Colby College president David A. Greene. "That program changed Colby College and the life trajectory of countless students who came here to study and left prepared and committed to changing their communities for the better. Now, Andrew Davis and his family are bringing Colby to the world by providing all of our students with rigorous, meaningful global opportunities. DavisConnects is leading a transformation of the liberal arts by demonstrating how research, global, and internship experiences can enrich an education and provide an unlimited set of postgraduate opportunities."