Program Recap: May 27, 2015
The May 27th meeting of Cashiers Rotary featured a presentation on the United World Colleges given by Rotarian and UWC-USA alumna Mary Alice Grant.
Founded by educator Kurt Hahn in direct response to the Cold War, the United World Colleges deliver a challenging and transformative educational experience to a diverse cross section of students, inspiring them to create a more peaceful and sustainable future. Hahn, who was also the founder of Outward Bound, sought to bring students from around the globe together where they would engage with each other on the basis of shared humanity.
There are fourteen UWCs on five continents around the world, including UWC-USA in Montezuma, NM, where students from more than 70 countries live and learn on a 200-acre campus donated by philanthropist Armand Hammer. The campus also features an Agroecology Research Center with a working farm where students learn sustainable agriculture techniques and the Bartos Institute for Constructive Engagement of Conflict, the UWC network’s flagship peer mediation and collaborative leadership program.
The schools are open to students aged sixteen through nineteen, nearly all of whom receive full or partial scholarships. Academically, the schools offer a two-year preparatory program built around the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma. Recognized by colleges and universities around the world, the IB diploma combines rigorous academics with truly experiential learning opportunities that help students develop leadership and critical thinking skills, conflict resolution, global mindedness and environmental awareness.
In addition to academic studies, students graduating with an IB diploma must also take an active role in helping shape and improve the world around them. The 273 students at UWC-USA perform more than 18,000 hours of community service every year and the school’s acclaimed Wilderness Program teaches outdoor and survival skills through the lens that all humans have a role to play as environmental stewards.
Today, members of the more than 50,000 UWC alumni can be found playing pivotal roles at all levels of social, cultural, economic and political involvement, putting into practice the UWC ideal of preparing today’s students to become globally-minded citizens of tomorrow.
For more information on UWCs, please visit www.uwc.org or www.uwc-usa.org.
Cashiers Rotary meets every Wednesday morning at the Cashiers United Methodist Church on Highway 107S. For information on attending a meeting or becoming a Rotarian, please visit www.cashiersrotary.org.