Armand Hammer United World College of the American West

Armand Hammer United World College of the American West

The Armand Hammer United World College of the American West is a United World College founded in 1982 by industrialist and philanthropist Armand Hammer. The campus, in the town of Montezuma, New Mexico, just northwest of the city of Las Vegas, New Mexico, includes the historic Montezuma Castle. The two-year, residential high school has about 200 students representing 80-90 countries at any time. The vast majority of these students receive full scholarships. The largest block of these scholarships has been made possible by an endowment by investment manager Shelby Davis and his wife Gale, whose generosity makes this school (and all the other UWCs) 100% free for all American students. This endowment was established with an initial gift of $45 million in 1998, making it at the time the largest private donation to international education [Anon. "S&G Foundation, Founded by Shelby and Gale Davis, Donates $45 Million to United World College, Montezuma, NM," PR Newswire, July 23, 1998] [Russell, J. " [ Teaching Global Understanding: Donor Pays For Almost 700 Foreign Students] ," "The Boston Globe", July 21, 2005] .

The school's mission is to teach international understanding by bringing together young men and women of diverse ethnic and social backgrounds, in an environment in which they must work together for success. In addition to offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, the school has a strong program in the arts and a significant wilderness program, including mountain search and rescue. Typically, students are between 16 and 19 years old.

Graduates are typically accepted at the most competitive colleges and universities around the world. In late 2007, the Wall Street Journal identified United World College - USA as one of the world's top 50 schools for its success in preparing students to enter top American universities.cite web|url=|title=How the Schools Stack Up|publisher="The Wall Street Journal"|date=2007-12-28|author=Staff writer|accessdate=2008-07-25] A fellowship program established by the Davis family cover the tuitions of many graduates at over 80 colleges and universities in the United States and Europe, including Amherst College, Brown University, Carleton College, Colby College, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Oberlin College, Smith College, Tufts University, Pepperdine University, Princeton University, and Yale University.

The school's somewhat unwieldy name is commonly replaced with "UWC-USA." Older alumni may call the school "Armand Hammer" or "AHUWC".


The school's founding president was Ted Lockwood, who served from 1982 until 1994. He published a book about the school in 1997. Phil Geier served as president from 1994 until 2005, when he passed the reins to Lisa Darling.


The school is located at coord|35|39|15|N|105|16|52|W| in the village of Montezuma, New Mexico in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains about 70 miles from Santa Fe.


* Dreams & Promises: The Story of the Armand Hammer United World College : A Critical Analysis, Theodore D. Lockwood, 1997

Notable alumni

Lousewies van der Laan, Dutch Politician

Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece

External links

* [ Official site]

* [ Davis UWC Scholars Official site]

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