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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 29, 1998

CONTACT:

Mary Ann Hill
(781) 283-2376



WELLESLEY COLLEGE RECEIVES $11 MILLION GIFT
TO SUPPORT INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION
WELLESLEY, Mass.-- Wellesley College announced today that it has received a gift of $11 million to support international scholarship and research, with a particular emphasis on the former Soviet Union and eastern Europe. The commitment, the largest in Wellesley's history, has been made by the Shelby Cullom Davis Foundation in the name of Kathryn Wasserman Davis, an alumna of the class of 1928 and a trustee of the College who has had a lifelong interest in Russia and the former Soviet Union.

"Kathryn Davis' tremendous generosity and vision will help Wellesley College continue its evolution as an international college," Diana Chapman Walsh, president of Wellesley, stated today in announcing the gift. "The programs and initiatives supported by this magnificent commitment will enable Wellesley to bring the experiences and contributions of other cultures to our campus, enriching both our community and, through our graduates and faculty, the world at large."

The recent pledge, made through the Shelby Cullom Davis Foundation, will create three permanently endowed funds at Wellesley College.

* Five million dollars will establish the Kathryn Wasserman Davis International Fund to provide financial aid to students with demonstrated need, with a preference given to students from the former Soviet Union and eastern Europe. It is estimated that this fund could provide scholarships for at least 10 students annually.

* One million dollars to establish the Kathryn Wasserman Davis International Research and Development Fund for Faculty to enable faculty of all disciplines to broaden their international expertise.

* Five million dollars to establish the Kathryn Wasserman Davis International Research and Development Fund for Students to be divided as follows:

  • two million dollars for student international internships for study abroad;
  • two million dollars for financial assistance for US students studying abroad;
  • one million dollars for student research abroad (e.g., field work, travel to archives).

"Kathryn Davis has helped open doors to far-away places, long before it was fashionable to do so," noted Walsh. "This most recent gift to Wellesley is a manifestation of her lifelong interest in Russia, dating back to her first visit in 1928, just 12 years after the Russian Revolution, when she and her sister traveled through the Caucasus on horseback." In the 70 years since then, she has returned to Russia 24 times. Her husband Shelby Cullom Davis, US Ambassador to Switzerland from 1969 to 1975 and a noted New York investment banker, shared her passion for international relations; he died in 1994. In 1996, Mrs. Davis committed $10 million to the Russian Research Center at Harvard University.

In addition to personal travel, Mrs. Davis has ensured that others may learn about Russia, the former Soviet Union, and other world cultures through her and her late husband's support of academic scholarship at Wellesley College, including professorships in Slavic Studies and Asian Studies and History and the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Museum and Cultural Center, dedicated in 1993.

Wellesley College is a prominent liberal arts college and a leader in the education of women for more than 120 years. The College's 500-acre campus near Boston is home to more than 2,300 undergraduate students. Some of Wellesley's distinguished alumnae include First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, and Madame Chiang Kai-shek.

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