A Letter from our

CEO & Co-Founder


Dear friends,

After a decade of building the Akilah Institute in Rwanda, we are launching a new global network of universities, Davis College.

We created Akilah to provide transformational education for women in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide. We have seen extraordinary success with our 2,000+ alumni and students, and we are ready to scale our unique model of personalized & affordable higher education.


I have witnessed first-hand the global higher education crisis and the need for scalable solutions. The next decade will see an additional 800 million secondary grads than today. Asia and Africa are the driving force behind the expansion.

As automation, climate change, and population growth change our world at a rapid pace, traditional schools are unable to provide high quality and affordable education to millions of young people.

We need a new model of higher education that empowers students to boldly face the realities of the 21st century.

Davis College educates future leaders to champion opportunity and sustainability in solving the world’s most pressing challenges. We offer an academic experience for students who are unafraid to challenge the status quo & passionately pursue innovative ideas.

Davis College will open in Kigali in June 2020 and offer diplomas to young men and women.

By 2030, we will open 10 campuses across Africa and Asia and educate one million students.

Davis College Hong Kong will open in September 2020 and recruit students from across Asia. We are now based in Hong Kong, Dave’s hometown, and our connections in the business & education communities make it the ideal launchpad into Asia.

Our commitment to women’s empowerment is unwavering. Akilah is, and will continue to be, designed to serve female students at our women’s campus, preparing them to thrive as leaders across a diversity of industries.

Davis College is named in honor of my parents, Beth & Cody Davis, who were instrumental in bringing the Akilah vision to life. My father passed away unexpectedly in 2017, and I am proud to honor his legacy by creating education opportunities for as many people as possible.

Please join me on Facebook Live, Instagram Live, or Zoom on Thursday, July 11 at Noon EST to learn more about our innovative academic model, Asian expansion, and vision for scale. I look forward to your questions and feedback!

With deep gratitude,

Elizabeth Dearborn Hughes
Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder