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February 6, 2009

Lincoln University Board of Trustees Recognizes
2008 Gates Millennium Scholar Xavier D. Davis

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, PA –Lincoln University junior Xavier Demond Davis will be recognized by the University’s Board of Trustees for upholding Lincoln’s commitment to excellence as a prestigious Gates Millennium Scholar. Davis’ outstanding academic achievement throughout his high school career has earned him the distinction of receiving one of the most competitive scholarships in the nation.

Enrolling high-achieving students has been a major objective of Lincoln University’s President Ivory V. Nelson, Ph.D., since his presidency at the institution.

“Recognizing the outstanding efforts and accomplishments of Lincoln sophomore Xavier Davis is important to this University,” Dr. Nelson said. “Davis’ achievements demonstrate the high caliber of students we enroll and further advance the Lincoln University legacy of excellence.”

The Gates Millennium Scholars Program (GMS) was initially funded by a $1 billion grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  The goal of the scholars program is to promote academic excellence and to provide an opportunity for outstanding minority students with significant financial need to reach their highest potential.  Established in 1999, its goal is increasing the number of high-achieving African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Hispanic American and Asian Pacific Islander American students who have significant financial need, and helping them to enroll in and complete undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Knowing school expenses would be tremendous on a medical track, Davis, a Virginia native, applied for several scholarships. He received over five including, the CJW Medical Center Scholarship for Volunteering, the University Scholarship from Lincoln University and the Community Foundation Scholarship for Outstanding Citizenship in Virginia.  The Gates Millennium Scholarship was the most significant in contribution providing for tuition, board and fees for undergraduate studies and enrollment into a graduate school.  

“When I received the notice saying I made it to the second stage I couldn’t believe it,” Davis said. “I called my guidance counselor immediately!”

Using the scholarship for an education at Lincoln came as a natural decision for this biology major.  Since his high school days, Davis traveled from Richmond to southern Chester County, PA to participate in Lincoln’s summer-bridge programs.

“In 2002 I was in the Summer Enrichment Program and in 2003 I was in the Transportation Program; since then, I have always remembered Lincoln,” Davis said.

Davis was first introduced to Lincoln through his Uncle Benny L. Turner III, a prominent alumnus from the class of 1974. Turner was responsible for bringing droves of students from the Washington, D.C. area to the University until his untimely death in 2003.

“He (Turner) was most influential in my decision,” Davis said.

The Lincoln legacy also spreads throughout his family to his Aunt Karen Nicholas, a 1979 alumna, who played a major role in the Lincoln University Alumni Association and is currently the president and CEO of the Educational Advancement Alliance in Philadelphia.

Maintaining his scholarship has proven easy for this Dean’s List student.  In the midst of all his studies, Davis has participated in the ten-week medical and dental program at the University of Virginia to experience “life as a medical student”.  As part of his Gates Millennium scholarship commitment, Davis participates twice a year in the community outreach programs, delivering his testimony on the possibility of minorities attaining such a high accomplishment. Upon completion, Davis plans to return to his home state and enroll in a Ph.D. and medical program.

Founded in 1854, Lincoln University, located in Chester County, PA, is a premier, historically Black University that combines the best elements of a liberal arts and sciences-based undergraduate core curriculum and selected graduate programs to meet the needs of those living in a highly technological and global society. The University is nationally recognized as a major producer of African Americans with undergraduate degrees in the physical sciences (chemistry and physics); computer and informational sciences; biological and life sciences. Lincoln has an enrollment of 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students.

Lincoln University of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
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