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International Student History

A guide containing archival and special collections material about international students and international student history at Davidson College.

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International Students in the College Archives

Record Group 2: Office of the President

Record Group 3: Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of Faculty

Record Group 6: Vice President for Student Life, Dean of Students

Record Group 12: Student Organizations


Browse Our Collections

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Our collections can be searched and browsed through this catalog.

This database includes finding aids for our institutional records and manuscript collections. Finding aids describe collections, how they were created, and how they can be accessed.

If have questions or would like to view our materials in-person, please email for assistance. 


Archival materials are the institutional records of Davidson College from its establishment in 1837 to the present day. Included within the collections are president's office records, academic department files, and student organization records. 

Listed below is a selection of relevant collections related to international students and international student history. Collections are organized by record group (RG), along with a brief description of the collection's contents, and are hyperlinked to the collection's digital finding aid.

For more information, search the catalogs listed below.

If you would like to view any of the materials listed below, please email to make an appointment.


Benoît Nzengu, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, was the first African as well as the first Black student at Davidson College. He began his studies in the fall of 1962, two years after Congo gained independence from Belgium

Benoît Nzengu, 1966

Benoît Nzengu, 1966

International Students in the College Archives

RECORD GROUP: Presidents

President. David Grier Martin Records, 1950-1968 (RG2-14)


Information on international students and study abroad programs can be found in the following files: Richardson Foreign Student Program, Faculty Committee on Foreign Study, Foreign Students, Foreign Programs,


President. Dr. Samuel Reid Spencer. Record (RG2-15)


Information on integration and minority students can be found in the following files: Admissions, Black Student Coalition, Black Studies, Integration, and Richardson Fellows Program.

Information on international students and study abroad programs can be found in the following files: Council on International Educational Exchange, International Study, Faculty Committee--International Education, India, International Students, Richardson Fellows Program, Richardson Foundation, and Student Exchange Programs.

RECORD GROUP: VP for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty.

Dean Rusk Program. Records, 1981 (RG3-6)

Description: Founded in 1985, the Dean Rusk Program in International Studies is the umbrella organization for international activities on campus. The Rusk Program is not a major or a separate school, but an element of the Davidson educational environment which enables any student to gain access to as much international study as he or she wishes. The program is responsible for inviting speakers, sponsoring Foreign Affairs Forums, organizing conference series, providing student grants, working with the Study Abroad Office, the Foreign Student Advisor, the Service Coordinator, The Union and the faculty, assisting international students, advising students on study abroad, internships and international careers, and working with students who are pursuing a Concentration in International Studies. The Dean Rusk Program in International Studies is named in honor of Davidson alumnus Dean Rusk '31, who served as Secretary of State during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations (1961-69). The original director of the Program was Ambassador Jack Perry, who retired from a Foreign Service career in 1983.


Administrative Files, 2017 (RG3-1-1)

Description: The Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty oversees the academic departments, the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, the Dean Rusk Program in International Studies, Office of Grants and Contracts, Information Technology Services, Library, Love of Learning Program, Office of Study Abroad, Teacher Education Program, and the Registrar's Office. This office is one of five vice presidents for the college and reports directly to the president. The collection has files on study abroad/foreign study, international education, international scholarships, and the Dean Rusk Program. It also contains the folders "African-Asian Cultures in North Carolina, 1973-1978".


Non-Western Studies Committee, 1967-1988, 1967 (RG3-1-2-069)

Description: This committee was established in order to develop Davidson's Non-Western Studies Program and to make any necessary changes along the way. This committee is also responsible for developing the International Awareness Test and for providing International Scholarships for students. The files contain correspondence as well as minutes from the meetings. Information on the International Awareness Test, the Language Houses and the Semester in India Program and the South Asia Program are available in the respective files.


RECORD GROUP: VP for Student Life and Dean of Students

Office of International Students. Records, 1948- (RG6-5)

Description: The Office of International Students is a division of the Dean of Students Office. The first organized program for international students was the Richardson Scholarships. These were one year grants for students to study in the United States. Davidson began offering the Richardson Scholarships in 1958. In 1977, the college established the Dean Rusk Scholars Program for British students to attend Davidson for one year. The College accepts applications from international students to attend for 1 to 4 years. The position of Assistant Dean of International Students and Bonner Scholars was established in 1993.

In 1998 the areas of International Students and Bonner Scholars/Community Services were divided and a separate Office of International Students was established. The office is responsible for overseeing the affairs of international students, including those with dual citizenship, Americans Living Abroad, and foreign nationals. The office coordinates campus and community services to international students, provides assistance on immigration matters and promotes interaction between foreign students and the college and local community. The office is also headquarters for the International Students Association (RG 12-47) and works closely with the Cultural Events Committee of the College Union (RG 6/3). The Cultural Events Committee organizes the International Festival, International Night, International Ball, and International Christmas Party.

The records for the International Students Program include committee minutes and reports, internal correspondence and memoranda, copies of handbooks, student lists, newsletters, news clippings, and a scrapbook on PRAM (Project of the Americas). There is also a file of circular letters written by international alumni, 1960-1962 and copies of letters written by former students to Mr. Richardson. These letters reflect on their experience and provide some information on what the students did after their return to their home countries. The letters are accompanied by photographs.

RECORD GROUP: Student Organizations

International Students Association. Records. (RG12-47)

Description: The International Student's Association was chartered by the Student Government Association in 1993. Membership is open to international and American students who are interested in international issues. The association also serves to represent international students on the Davidson campus with policy issues, adjustment to campus, with educational events designed to promote international education, and with cultural issues. The association holds monthly meetings, has initiated the "Great Escape" excursions to Charlotte for food, music and movies, and a Big Sister, Big Brother program. By the late 1990s additional international student groups were being formed. This group was reformed as the Davidson International Association (RG12-75).


Project of the Americas (PRAM). Records, 1966 (RG12-58)

Description: The Project of the Americas (PRAM) was founded at Davidson in 1965 by a small group of students and Frederico Arturo Ehlers, a native of Ecuador who spent a year studying at Davidson under the Richardson Foreign Student Program in 1964-65. The cornerstones of PRAM were (1) the furtherance of international good-will and understanding through a summer travel program for students of college age and (2) the dissemination of information about South America (particularly Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia) by these students


Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS). Records, 1999 (RG12-66)

Description: The Organization of Latin American Students was organized in 1998. Its purpose is to establish and maintain a spirit of solidarity among the Latin American, Hispanic American and Spanish students of Davidson College. The organization has sponsored events such as Cinco de Mayo study breaks, dance classes and trips into Charlotte. They have also co-sponsored events with the Black Student Coalition, Davidson International Student Association, Dean Rusk and the Dance Ensemble.

Asian Culture and Awareness Association (ACAA). Records, 2000- (RG12-67)

Description: The Asia3D organization, later changed to ASIA Club and then to Asian Culture and Awareness Association (ACAA), was founded in the spring of 2000. The organization is a social and educational group hoping to bring together all parts of the Davidson community in order to raise awareness of Asia and Asian Americans. Sponsored events include forums on what it means to be Asian, study abroad panels on experiences in Asia, a national conference, and other Asian cultural events.

Davidson African Students Association (DASA). Record. (RG12-73)

Description: Founded by students in 2002, the Davidson African Students Association seeks to explore cultural, intellectual, and economic issues about Africa in the general Davidson community. The first folder contains two sets of the Davidson African Students Association constitution and by-laws. The correspondence folder contains e-mail correspondence beginning in March 2002. The printed materials include flyers, announcement, and articles concerning DASA.


Davidson International Association (DIA). Records, 2001- (RG12-75)

Description: The collection contains the group's constitution, member correspondence, and flyers and pamphlets concerning their International Festivals. There is also a letter, circa October 2000, addressed to Dean Tom Shandley, pleading for the old Outpost on Patterson for the Davidson International Association to be "modeled on the BSC." There are also folders for other student groups with international interests.

Founded by students, the Davidson International Association (DIA) seeks to provide a forum to address international political, economic, and cultural issues in order to promote greater international consciousness.The International Student Association (RG 12-47) preceded this group.

Middle Eastern Cross Cultural Association (MECCA). Records, 2004- (RG12-89)

Description: Originally, this organization was the Middle Eastern Students Association (MESA), but its name was changed in September 2004 to the Middle Eastern Cross Cultural Association (MECCA). The club's goal was to "involve the Davidson community with the Middle East and its culture." This collection consists of e-mail correspondence from the leaders to the club members concerning meetings and upcoming events. It also consists of flyers advertising their sponsored events. There is also a 2012 General Ledger Detail Transact for MENASA (Middle Eastern North African Student Association).


Curry Club. Correspondence, 2005- (RG12-103)

Description: Curry Club was founded in the Fall of 2005 by Alim Jinnah, class of 2007. The club promotes awareness of Indian culture and issues. In the Fall of 2006, they created a Club Cricket team. The first captain was Fareed Cheema, class of 2010. This file contains e-mail correspondence concerning meetings, co-ordination of events with ACAA, and other information.


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