Scholarship Allows Students to Say ‘Yes’ to #1 College Choice
They have only been Davidson College students about nine months, but Georgia Morris ’23 and Michael Yen ’23, the inaugural Mauzé Scholars, have great aspirations for contributing to the Davidson campus and making a difference in the world.
Morris, from Rocky Mount, North Carolina, toured Davidson as a ninth-grade student, and even though that’s a bit early to make a final decision about college, she spent the next couple of years going on campus tours, comparing every visit to Davidson.
“My dad and two older siblings went to NC State, so I grew up assuming that would be my plan, too,” she said. “But I realized I couldn’t because of how I felt after that first tour.”
Morris is passionate about social issues, and one class, titled, “Latinx in the South,” has her thinking differently about how to further define that passion.
“It’s a service-based class, and we are making a resource guide for the local Ada Jenkins Center, based on topics we’ve discussed in class. It has me thinking even more about how we let things happen in our society and how they need to change moving forward, specifically as it relates to racial issues,” she said. “I grew up with an interest in math, so I am hoping to conduct research and explore the ways statistical analysis can make a difference in improving major issues.”
Morris is getting her feet wet with a few student groups, including Davidson College Dems and a newly formed group, Davidson Wildcrafts—this semester, she’s learning how to embroider.
Yen looked at several options far away from his Los Angeles, California, home, including a Division III school where he was recruited to play lacrosse, but the tight-knit Davidson community plus a competitive financial aid package helped him choose Davidson as his home for the next four years.
“I came here not planning to figure out what I wanted to study until the end of my sophomore year, and not having to choose until then was part of why I was attracted to Davidson,” he said. “I’m leaning toward something focused on cultures and societies with environmental and community engagement components, but I don’t know exactly how that will take shape.”
In addition to his busy class schedule, Yen, who earned his Eagle Scout in high school, also works 8-10 hours each week with the Davidson Lands Conservancy. He has helped with projects that create educational spaces for local schools and allow him to take students outside to do soil labs and other science-related lessons. He has also begun working with the Davidson Community Garden.
“I didn’t come to Davidson knowing exactly what to expect, and a huge surprise is how much agency I have with my own time and what I want to do with it,” said Yen. “I feel a need to be productive every day.”
Morris and Yen are on track to make their marks in their communities and around the world. Without scholarship support, however, both students say they likely would be getting their education at second-choice or third-choice institutions.
It’s Our Turn
For Mike Mauzé ’85 and Alison Hall Mauzé ’84, the alumni behind the new scholarship program, making the Davidson experience possible for others is rooted in their profound appreciation for alma mater… and because, they say, “it’s our turn.”
“Our Davidson professors, coaches, deans and advisors served as role models for the successful journey of lives well-lived,” said the couple. “From learning how to learn and how to be confident in surrounding oneself with the smartest, most hard-working colleagues and friends, to remaining humble and keenly curious about the world, to recognizing the greatest rewards come from service to others, Davidson reinforced the values of true humanity. These lessons learned and values cemented have been our foundation, and we will be forever grateful.”
The scholarship program will add two scholars each year, creating a cohort of Mauzé Scholars, who can depend on and learn from each other. Scholars are chosen for their ability to bring a diversity of compelling personal attributes, talents, aptitudes or perspectives to the Davidson campus that are likely to enhance student life at Davidson.
“Davidson provides the finest undergraduate, liberal arts education possible and, yet, it is an expensive proposition,” they said. "Excellence has a price, and funding access is critical. We are excited to have the opportunity to provide this investment for the next generation."
“The world needs well-rounded, highly educated, thoughtful leaders who have integrity and resilience—leaders to find solutions to the many challenges facing our world. A Davidson College education establishes the strong foundation needed for this life of leadership, and Davidson graduates are uniquely suited to serve.”
The Mauzés’ unwavering commitment to Davidson College is felt across campus and throughout the broader community of alumni, families and friends. Alison currently serves as chair of the Davidson College Board of Trustees and served the past five years as co-chair of the Game Changers: Inspiring Leaders to Transform the World Campaign. From 2008-2011, Mike served as an advisor to the Trustee Investment Committee. Among their varied and generous support of Davidson projects and programs, the couple provided the naming gift for the Mauzé Terrace, one of the beautiful entrances to the E. Craig Wall Jr. Academic Center, which opened in 2017.
“Alison and Mike exemplify Davidson’s values of leadership and service. They have freely shared their considerable talents with the college and their significant contribution to create a new scholarship program is another example of their commitment to this special college and to the liberal arts,” said Davidson College President Carol E. Quillen. “We are deeply grateful for their meaningful and important investment in our students and our future. The generosity and vision of leaders like Alison and Mike enables Davidson to prepare the graduates that our world desperately needs.”