Williams College Alumnus Named Schwarzman Scholar

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College alumnus Newton Davis, Class of 2012, has been named a Schwarzman Scholar and will join the program's third cohort of students since its inception in 2016.

Schwarzman Scholars is a highly selective, one-year master's program at Tsinghua University in Beijing that is designed to prepare the next generation of global leaders for the challenges of the future. Davis was among more than 4,000 applicants from around the world to compete for 140 spots in the class.

During his year of the program, Davis hopes to connect with Chinese venture capitalists, refine his investing skills and immerse himself in Chinese culture.

"I applied because I think China (and Asia more broadly) will be extremely important in venture capital in the coming years," Davis said. "The industry will need to understand how China's giants go about building their global empires. China's political and economic rise go hand-and-hand. Like our Silicon Valley titans, Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent seek a global competitive edge. The Schwarzman program seems like a great way to learn about them."

Currently, Davis works in investor education at 500 Startups, is a global venture capital seed fund headquartered in Silicon Valley, and is a board member of Dream Outside the Box, a Ft. Worth based nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding the horizons of K-5 youth.

While at Williams, Davis was awarded the prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship in 2011, given to college juniors who demonstrate exceptional leadership potential and are committed to public service careers. He majored in history and Arabic studies, and also earned a certificate in Spanish. He was a member of College Council and All Campus Entertainment, and led a committee of students to revitalize the '82 Pub and Grill.

"Over the years, the Williams community has been supportive in encouraging me to embrace risk," Davis said. He was a recipient of a 2012 Gaudino Scholarship, a fellowship that allowed him to conduct research in Japan. "I see experiences like the Gaudino which forced me to reckon with unknown and be uncomfortable as exactly the type of experiences that prepare me for the Schwarzman." 

He said he is especially grateful for the support he has received from the fellowships office. 

"They, along with my mentors both academic and non-academic, have always been unrelenting in helping see these kinds of opportunities," he said.

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