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Shared Stories Make Dinner at Davidson a Night to Remember

Dinner at DavidsonThe 2016 student-led Dinner at Davidson event was held Feb. 5 and raised more than $35,000 for The Davidson Trust. Nearly 200 attendees heard from current students who presented about their educational passions and experiences. Their message also focused on the impact of The Davidson Trust on every Davidson student's life.

The students covered topics ranging from international education to community and everything in between:

  • Ryan Leak '17, a Craig Family Scholar from Laurinburg, North Carolina, discussed the power of the Davidson community. Through networking with Davidson alumni, he received a very competitive internship offer as a sophomore. He said the skills he acquired at Davidson-attention to detail, the discipline to work hard, composure under pressure and the ability to learn and pick up on things quickly-made him successful in that internship.
  • Savannah Haeger '16, of the Chicago area, shared her passion for Latin American politics and travel. She extolled the virtues of travel as a means to develop deeper understanding of a particular culture, language or political climate, as well as to promote person-to-person diplomacy. Haeger shared her experiences from time spent in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico-all opportunities she has embraced during her time at Davidson. Haeger is a C.V. Starr Scholar.
  • Rahat Sajwani '17, of Chicago, presented on diversity and inclusion at Davidson. She is first generation Pakistani-American, and spoke about how her background and heritage have shaped her experience and perspective. She noted that her time at Davidson has allowed her to better understand her own identity, and said she is encouraged and energized by the increase she has seen in the number of South Asian students on campus. Sajwani also explained her involvement in a statistics project that aims to understand diversity in the finance sector-the field she plans to join after graduation. Sajwani is a Presidential Scholar, a James I. Smith Scholar and an Honorary Terry Scholar.

The keynote address was delivered by Clark Ross, Frontis W. Johnston Professor of Economics and former vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty. Ross has been interested in accessibility since he arrived at Davidson in 1979, and he shared his perspective on The Davidson Trust as well as several current challenges.

This year's event was led by chair Aditi Ghatlia '18, a Chambers Scholar and James B Duke Scholar from Shanghai, China; vice chair Hailey Klabo '16, from West Branch, Iowa; and Jacob Cole '16, from Ormond Beach, Florida, who oversaw alumni outreach.

About Dinner at Davidson

Dinner at Davidson began in 2010 with a small group of students in the Student Government Association's external affairs committee. Led by Jordan Starck '12, now a teacher in Charlotte, the small community outreach fundraiser explained the impact of The Davidson Trust to the larger Davidson community and raised a few thousand dollars to support the trust. Each year, the initiative has grown, and since the start of the program, students have raised more than $250,000. The success of Dinner at Davidson has enabled students to create a scholarship-the Student Government Association Davidson Trust Scholarship-which helps bring strong students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds to the campus community. In spring 2015, the college graduated its first recipient of the scholarship, and the next two recipients-in the classes of 2017 and 2019-are currently on campus.