Williams College Alumnus Newton Davis '12 Named Schwarzman Scholar

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]

Newton DavisWILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., December 4, 2017—Williams College alumnus Newton Davis ’12 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 over 4,000 applicants from around the world to compete for 142 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 says. “ The industry will need to understand how China’s giants go about building their global empires. China’s political and economic rise go hand in 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, 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 says. 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 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.”

About Schwarzman Scholars:

Schwarzman Scholars was inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship, which was founded in 1902 to promote international understanding and peace, and is designed to meet the challenges of the 21st century and beyond. Blackstone Co-Founder Stephen A. Schwarzman personally contributed $100 million to the program and is leading a fundraising campaign to raise an additional $350 million from private sources to endow the program in perpetuity. The $450 million endowment will support up to 200 scholars annually from the U.S., China and around the world for a one-year Master’s Degree program at Tsinghua University in Beijing, one of China’s most prestigious universities and an indispensable base for the country’s scientific and technological research. Scholars chosen for this highly selective program will live in Beijing for a year of study and cultural immersion, attending lectures, traveling, and developing a better understanding of China. Admissions opened in the fall of 2015, with the first class of students in residence in 2016. Learn more at www.schwarzmanscholars.org, like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SchwarzmanScholars and follow on Twitter at @SchwarzmanOrg.


Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions on U.S. applicants are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.