Shelby M.C. Davis. Some of your gifts to Colby sit before us, ready to become your gifts to the world. The thirteen Davis-United World College scholars who shortly will cross this stage to receive their Colby diplomas are here by dint of their own hard work, intelligence, persistence, and talents. But they would be the first to say that they are here, too, because of your vision and your support. The son of parents whose professional pursuits were international in scope, you grew up with a firm sense of the importance of global understanding and communication. That sense has served you well in your career, from the Bank of New York, where you became the youngest vice president since Alexander Hamilton, to Davis Selected Advisers, the mutual fund management firm you founded and where you now are senior adviser. That sense also has guided your family’s extraordinary philanthropy in the area of international education. The Davis family has contributed millions of dollars so American students may attend United World College schools, to Davis-UWC scholars at Colby and four other American colleges and universities, and to UWC graduates at 45 other institutions of higher learning. These gifts, in sum, make up the largest contribution by any American to international education, and your gift to Colby is the largest in College history. We cannot know what impact this generosity – a generosity of spirit and of vision, as well as of financial resources -- will have on the world. But it takes no extraordinary powers of imagination to see the potential that sits before us today, thanks to you.
By the authority of the Board of Trustees of Colby College, I confer upon you, Shelby M.C. Davis, the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa. The hood with which you have been invested and this diploma which I place in your hand are visible symbols of your membership in this society of scholars, to all the rights and privileges of which I declare you entitled.
Conferred May 23, 2004