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Shelby Davis - Dare to Dream

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Supporting UWC scholarships











The Davis-UWC Dare to Dream Programme was launched in early 2018 through a pledge by UWC patron Shelby Davis of over US$100 million towards the UWC movement’s scholarship fund. From 2018 onwards, the donation will provide funding for 100 additional scholarships per year for students selected through UWC’s 159 national committees to attend one of the 17 UWC schools and colleges worldwide for their final two years of secondary education.

The “Dare to Dream” programme celebrates an important wish voiced by the US philanthropist known for his engagement in the field of international education when making this gift: The 100 scholarships shall be granted to students from backgrounds in which they would usually not even dare to dream of a world-class education like that offered by UWC.

UWC Patron Shelby Davis is one of UWC’s greatest-ever supporters, with his family’s involvement with the UWC movement going back to the year 1998. With a highly successful investment and fund management career, Davis devoted his personal and financial energies to a number of philanthropic aims, focusing on education. Since the late 1990s, Shelby Davis has provided the funds for 50 scholarships per year for US American students to attend UWCs, of the 50 recipients, 25 attend UWC-USA; the rest are offered places at one of the other UWC schools. In 2000, adding to his involvement with the UWC movement, Davis started the Davis-UWC Scholars Program, which, to date, has provided need-based university scholarships for more than 7,500 UWC graduates enrolled at over 94 U.S. colleges and universities.

In August 2015, Shelby Davis joined forces with UWC to launch the Davis-UWC Impact - a remarkable matching gift initiative to support the creation of additional scholarships. In a direct challenge to the UWC community, charitable donations from UWC alumni, their families and other individual supporters to the then 15 UWC institutions were matched up to the value of US$1 million per UWC school or college. 

His latest gift further strengthens his commitment to the UWC Movement and enhances global awareness of the impact of the Scholarship Programme. 


"UWC provides a unique education to students from across the world independent of their socio-economic means. Each year, UWC national committees identify promising young people in almost 160 countries to attend UWC schools and give them access to an international education they would otherwise never even dare to dream of. We need to equip a new generation to work towards a better world. The Dare to Dream scholarships recognises UWC's capacity to do that and to bring together students from the most diverse backgrounds from around the globe. I hope it will encourage others to support UWC in eliminating a privileged socio-economic background as a prerequisite for world-class education."

- Shelby Davis