College Spotlight: Davidson College
College Expert at the Five Colleges Program
Embassy Suites Minneapolis Airport
May 18, 2015
Davidson College’s mission is to develop leaders who will serve. The 2,000 future Davidson leaders live on or near a main campus located 20 miles north of Charlotte, a city of one million people. The Honor Code is central to Davidson life. Dating back to Davidson’s founding in 1837, the Honor Code is a declaration by the entire college community that the honorable course is the most just, and thus, the best. By signing the Honor Code, students not only become a part of a deeply bonded community, but they are entrusted with take-home tests and unproctored, self-scheduled final exams.
Davidson was the first liberal arts college in the nation to establish a trust fund to allow all accepted students to graduate from college without loans, because affordability of education always has been a priority for the college. The Davidson Trust provides accepted students showing demonstrated need with grants and on-campus employment. In 2012, Edward L. “Ted” Baker ’57 bequeathed Davidson College with a $25 million gift to support the mission of The Davidson Trust.
Davidson students come from all over the U.S., and eight percent are international students. The student body is divided equally between male and female. The average class has 15 students, with a student to faculty ratio of 10:1. There are 27 majors available; a handful of majors, minors, and programs are pre-professional, including pre-education, pre-engineering, pre-law, pre-medicine, pre-ministry, and pre-military. Future engineers have the opportunity to receive dual-degrees from Davidson and either Columbia University in New York City or Washington University in St. Louis. Students attend Davidson for three or four years and then engineering school for the last two years. They are guaranteed admission to the two affiliated engineering schools, assuming the completion of math and science prerequisites and the requisite GPA.
Although a small college, Davidson is a distinguished member of NCAA Division I. One out of four students is a varsity athlete. The arts are equally celebrated on campus, where students are able to major and minor in theatre and music and minor in dance. Although more a cultural experience than an artistic one, the Cake Race is a voluntary, first-year student rite of passage involving a 1.7 mile race around the town of Davidson. The Davidson community donates the prizes – cakes – for the annual winners.