Who Wants to Go to Davidson?
During the Davidson men's basketball team's 2008 run in the NCAA Elite Eight tournament, Vanessa Williams had an AP history teacher who was a Davidson alumnus. For fun, she'd tease him, "Yeah, great, but who would want to go to Davidson?!" That was the beginning. When all was said and done, she found that, in fact, she herself wanted to come to Davidson.
Davidson Trusted Her
Davidson's commitment to need-blind admission and meeting 100 percent of admitted students' needs without loans-The Davidson Trust-became paramount for Williams and her family. "I wanted to go to a good school and not have to sell organs to pay for it afterward." Instead, as a Bonner Scholar, she tutors and mentors young people in the community, and can focus on her studies without financial stress.
Race and Faith: Questions and Answers
A public magnet-school alumna who is already adept at navigating all manner of diversity discussions, Williams is now earning her academic chops in classes like Racial and Ethnic Relations Anthropology Perspectives (taught by Professor of Anthropology Nancy Fairley) and Interpreting the Racial Divide (a first-year writing course taught by Professor of Religion Trent Foley)
An (Exponentially) Alternative Break
She traveled to Washington, D.C., on an Alternative Fall Break sponsored by the Chaplain's Office and Interfaith Alliance, a student group. The students visited the Islamic Center of Washington and a Russian Orthodox church, held conversations with homeless people and attended a march for the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people. At Davidson, Williams is not shy about gently calling remarks of questionable taste or sensitivity, intentional or not, into the light of community conversation.
That Wonderful Internet
In spite of peer pressure from her Gainesville-bound high school friends and not being able to visit Davidson before enrollment, Williams was increasingly sure she was making the right choice. "I did a lot of research online. Davidson had the things I wanted: strong academics, a well-rounded student body, all the campus clubs and organizations, and athletic teams. I wanted to come, so I just went for it."