NORMAN — A diverse group of international students and faculty celebrated at a presentation recognizing the University of Oklahoma as a Davis Cup recipient Thursday after beating out Brown University for the award, which only had 33 United World College Scholars this year.
The University of Oklahoma is the first public university in the nation to be awarded the prestigious Davis Cup in recognition of its record-setting enrollment of UWC international freshmen. With 45 Davis UWC Scholars at OU, this is the largest class ever enrolled at a Davis UWC Scholars Program partner institution.
Craig Hayes, UWC Scholars program coordinator, said the first Davis UWC scholars enrolled at OU in 2008. The original number of four UWC students has grown to a total of 89. who represent 43 countries and all 12 of the UWC campuses worldwide.
OU is one of 91 Davis program partner colleges and universities in the United States, including Yale, Princeton, Brown, the universities of North Carolina, Virginia and Michigan, Duke, Columbia and MIT.
UWCs are two-year residential schools in which a rigorous international baccalaureate curriculum is employed with all-English instruction. To date, more than 40,000 students have studied at UWCs.
“All UWCs’ students are united in their commitment to positive social action to build a more equitable and fairer world,” Hayes said.
Joan Ezeogu, from Swaziland who plans to graduate from OU this May with a double major in international studies and economics, said being a part of the UWC program and attending OU had been great experiences.
“It’s a very big deal to me and my family because I will be the first one to go to college outside of Africa,” Ezeogu said.
Eaton Baptiste, UWC student president at OU, spoke about his experience at a UWC in Costa Rica and what the UWC means to scholars like himself. Baptiste said throughout his studies, his ideas were constantly challenged and he learned a lot about himself and what he was capable of.