History Of Davis IC
The International Center was founded in 1974 by volunteers - faculty, alumni and their spouses, and community residents - with an office space allocated by the University at 5 Ivy Lane. The volunteers welcomed newly arrived international graduate students and visiting scholars with regular social hours, Host Family, and English Conversation Tutoring programs. In 1978, Dean of the Chapel Ernest Gordon invited the volunteers to move their office to Murray Dodge Hall, the site of his office. A few months later President William Bowen agreed for the University to take over the Center and placed it under the Office of Undergraduate Student Life. Paula Chow, one of the co-founders, became the Director. Her founding partner Louise Sayen sp'38 became the first President of Friends of International Center, which continued to motivate the same volunteers to service Princeton’s international new arrivals. The Friends have continued this relationship with the International Center, both in their services and in their fund raising efforts to benefit the Center and its various initiatives.
International Center, since then, has extended its programs to enhance intercultural and international understanding on- and off-campus by working with students and offices and initiating additional social, cultural, and extra-curricular educational programs. It was moved to Stevenson Hall (91 Prospect Ave) in 1999 and then to the new Frist Campus Center in 2001, sharing a complex with the Women’s Center.
On May 10, 2007 the Center was named the Kathryn W. and Shelby Cullom Davis ’30 International Center through a generous endowment from Ms. Kathryn W. Davis. Her son Shelby Davis ’58, a trustee of Princeton, had initiated this endowment as a partial celebration for Ms. Davis’s centennial birthday. Ms. Davis together with her late husband and philanthropic family has supported many programs involving world peace and international understanding. We are grateful for their trust, which has enabled us to sustain our support for international students and our efforts to promote cross cultural competency and understanding.
In the summer of 2010 following the retirement of long-time Director Paula Chow, the Davis International Center was reorganized and expanded. Staff members from offices that were previously located in separate areas of campus – The Office of Visa Services, the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students, and the International Center were reorganized into one central organization -the Davis International Center - that provides services and programs that address the comprehensive needs of international students and scholars. Jacqueline Leighton was hired to direct the newly restructured Center. The Center adapted a new look and a new mission, but the values remain the same. We are still dedicated to promoting internationalization and cross-cultural understanding at Princeton University.