Dec. 20, 2007 — As Kathyrn Wasserman Davis neared her 100th birthday last February, she gave gifts to others.
Davis, a philanthropist and the widow of Shelby Cullom Davis, a businessman and former United States ambassador to Switzerland, put up $1 million in each of the past two years to fund 100 "Projects for Peace." U.Va. students are among those eligible to submit proposals for the $10,000 prizes.
“A faculty review committee will choose a candidate and one or two alternates,” said Lucy S. Russell, director of the Center for Undergraduate Excellence, which is now accepting applications for the program. These proposals will be forwarded to Davis Projects for Peace for final selection.
To apply, students must describe, in writing, their proposed projects, including expected outcomes and prospects for future impact. Proposals require pre-approval of all involved parties and organizations and must include a written budget. Proposals from U.Va. students are due at the Center for Undergraduate Excellence by Jan. 31.
Davis Projects for Peace, which administers the program, offers no clear definition of what makes a peace project and encourages students to use their imaginations to determine their projects.
"We leave it up to the students to define what a 'project for peace' might be," the organization's Web site says. "We hope to encourage creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship."
This is the second year Davis has funded the program. Last year's projects, which were carried out during the summer, included a domestic violence program in the United States; a musical exchange program in Israel; promoting multi-ethnic education in China; an oral history program in Afghanistan; a child development center in Karachi, Pakistan; and promoting peace through education in Uganda. At the end of the project, students must submit a written report to Davis Projects for Peace.
U.Va. is one of 85 schools eligible for Project for Peace funds because it participates in the Davis United World Scholars Program, which provides higher education scholarships to students who attend the United World Colleges, a series of international high schools around the world.
There is more information about the Davis Project for Peace at www.kwd100projectsforpeace.org or by contacting Lucy Russell at (434) 924-6058.