Through the generosity of celebrated friends of Davidson College, students will have enhanced opportunities to conduct research, travel and develop their interests in new and creative ways. Marcus and Carole Weinstein have made a significant commitment that will fund four diverse initiatives and have an impact on the campus community, now and into the future. Through the couple's generosity, students will learn more about the world and, in turn, more about themselves.
"What drew Marcus and me to a focus on international education is our philosophy about personal growth which Marcus has practiced as a businessman and philanthropist, and I hope is represented by my service as a Trustee," said Carole. "Now more than ever, we are challenged to examine what we think is the 'best' and what we believe is 'right.' Although exposure to other cultures and other value systems is sometimes scary and upsetting, it has the potential to open our minds to fresh, new ideas."
Two of the newly established programs promote international studies at Davidson, granting students more opportunities to explore the world beyond North Carolina. The first initiative, the Weinstein International Travel Fund, offers international students resources to travel and experience more of the United States during breaks in the academic calendar. Unique to Davidson, this opportunity should also attract more international students to the college.
Additionally, the Weinsteins' support will fund the Weinstein International Group Investigations Program. Coordinated by Academic Affairs, this program allows faculty to take students on group study trips. Besides the value of performing research abroad, the student/faculty collaboration on research projects is one of Davidson's most distinctive hallmarks.
"When students and faculty share cultural behaviors and attitudes, dialects and languages, educational and government systems, and spiritual and insight practices with those different from themselves-whether in a different city, country or continent-amazing, unpredictable synergies happen," said Carole.
Back on Davidson's campus, the Weinstein Digital Studies in the Arts and Humanities initiative will bolster the humanities' access to the college's expanding resources in digital studies, a growing college priority. This funding will be used to provide student summer research in the field.
The final beneficiary of the Weinsteins' generosity is the Weinstein Davidson Research Initiatives for Humanities, which will result in eight humanities-specific research opportunities for students each year. Under the supervision of faculty, students will use this funding to work on projects alongside their peers, fostering teamwork and collaboration.
The Weinsteins, of Richmond, Va., are longtime friends of the college, generously contributing to a variety of programs in support of international education, The Davidson Trust, and student-led research.
"Our Davidson connection began on the tennis court 30 years ago when Marcus was paired in a doubles match with a person new to Richmond, the late Samuel R. Spencer, Jr., who had recently retired as president of Davidson College," Carole recalled. "Marcus and Sam's mutual commitment to education drew them beyond the tennis court to a deep and abiding affection based on similar ideals of equality and trust."
Since that day, the Weinsteins have honored this remarkable friendship through their many gifts to Davidson.