Road Trip: "Aha Moments" at Davidson College

Every college visit has its “aha moments”.  My August 2014 trip to visit five North Carolina schools included many.  Here are a few to share…Davidson College – Aha!

“The surrounding community bakes cookies for students during exams.”

Though shared as a throwaway comment, it clearly evoked a sense of small town good relations.  The community of Davidson is about 10,000 in population and the 1,800-student campus fits warmly among them.  That sense of community seemed to extend to the college campus itself.  Somewhat conservative with an impression that religion was the norm (of any or inter faith) Davidson fit our tour guide's college criteria of “a second home with excellent academics”.  Community service is demonstrably integral to Davidson. There are 14 social and service based fraternities (8), sororities (2), and eating houses (4). The vast majority of events are open to all students and a social calendar comes out each week via email. Many of the houses are themed around a specific philanthropy -- e.g.: breast cancer, AIDS, etc. 

Other points of interest at Davidson College: Recognized as an academically strong liberal arts school (ranked #11 by US News) it is also known for its D1 sports.  Unusual for a school its size.  About a quarter of the students are on a varsity sports team and the most well regarded teams include swimming, lacrosse, tennis and still soccer.  Plus, the men’s basketball team makes it to March Madness every few years. Also of interest – 86% of students study abroad (65% for credit). That’s a relatively high percentage. Though the town of Davidson is small, the college is only a 20-minute drive from Charlotte, and freshmen are allowed to have cars on campus. 

Consider Davidson if you are looking for an academically strong small liberal arts school with sports, and would rather live south of the Northeast with a semester abroad.