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Building Peace: The United World College, a two-year prep school that emphasizes peace and understanding, this month began sorting through applications from 10th and 11th graders hoping to be among the first generation of Davis Scholars.

The 50 scholarships, worth $40,000 each over two years, will be funded by a $45 million gift to the school this past summer from Shelby M.C. Davis and his wife, Gale Davis, the founders of the S&G Foundation. Mr. Davis is the founder and owner of Davis Selected Advisers, a mutual-fund and money-management firm in Santa Fe, N.M.

The donation is the largest private contribution ever made to international education, according to officials at the United World College in Montezuma, N.M.

The college, started in 1962 in Wales, focuses on bringing students of different nationalities together during the teenage years to develop tolerance and understanding. About 2,000 students are enrolled at 10 locations around the world, said Eric Tyson, the director of admissions.

"Students at the United World Colleges live and study with other students from all over the world, enabling them to benefit from this diversity and contributing to our nation's understanding of other lands and cultures," Mr. Davis said in a statement. "This interaction builds bridges of understanding."

The school's core curriculum includes language arts, social sciences, sciences, foreign languages, and service learning. Graduates earn an International Baccalaureate diploma at schools at the New Mexico site and in Canada, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Norway, Singapore, Swaziland, Venezuela, and Wales.

A $40 million endowment will fund scholarships, and $3 million will go toward renovating the Montezuma Castle, the 19th-century hotel that serves as the centerpiece of the college's Montezuma campus near Santa Fe, said Philip O. Geier, the president of the United World College. The remaining money will be allocated for scholarships paid out over the next two years.

"It's a transforming gift," said Mr. Geier. "It enables us to raise visibility and [showcase] the importance of international education."

The scholarships will cover tuition, room, and board for 25 students in New Mexico and 25 students at one of the school's other locations for the entire two-year course of study.

Students will be chosen on the basis of their academic promise, Preliminary SAT scores, and community service.

For more information, call the college at (505) 454-4201 or see its World Wide Web site at

--JULIE BLAIR [email protected]

Vol. 18, Issue 9, Page 14

Published in Print: October 28, 1998, as Philanthropy

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