Pearson College UWC

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For schools of a similar name, see Lester B. Pearson High School.
Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific
Logo of Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific.png
Coordinates 48°20′48″N 123°33′51″W / 48.34667°N 123.56417°W / 48.34667; -123.56417Coordinates: 48°20′48″N 123°33′51″W / 48.34667°N 123.56417°W / 48.34667; -123.56417
Type International Baccalaureate World School
Principal Désirée McGraw
Enrollment 160

The Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific (Pearson College UWC) is one of fifteen United World Colleges (UWC) around the world. It is named after the late Canadian Prime Minister Lester Bowles Pearson, winner of the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize, and early supporter of the College. The mission of the UWC movement and of the school is to "make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future". The college follows the International Baccalaureate curriculum, covering the final year of high school and a pre-university year for up to 100 students a year hailing from nearly 90 countries.[1]

The director of the College from 2006 to 2015 was David Hawley, a graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a trustee of the Council of International Schools. In April 2015, the College announced Hawley's successor, Désirée McGraw, an internationally acclaimed institutional leader, the President of the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation, and a former advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada.

Academics and administration[edit]

Walkway leading to East House, one of Pearson College's residential buildings

The College's main academic curriculum follows the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme – Pearson was the first school in Canada to adopt the Diploma Program at all. Students are also required to participate in community-oriented services, cultural activities, and sport events. A highlight of the academic year is the professional dance, music and cultural show, "One World", led by a talented backstage crew and attracting thousands of audience members from Victoria and the surrounding communities.


Students must be selected by their respective UWC National Committees based on their merit, promise and potential. Each of the more than 140 National Committees makes recommendations for admission to the College independently, and according to their individual selection procedures. Admission is thus extremely competitive, and reaches across a broad spectrum of socioeconomic diversity. Sponsorship for these scholarships comes from a mixture of organisations, governments and private donors.


Floating Building – Pearson College UWC

The College is located on the shores of Pedder Bay, near Victoria, British Columbia on Vancouver Island. The College provides a suitable location for the study of the environment, due to the surrounding woodlands and the nearby Race Rocks Marine Protected Area, an ecological conservation area maintained by the College.

There are 5 residential houses that house all students of the College and some faculty members . All student houses are mixed gender, with boys on one floor and girls on the other, and students live in shared rooms of 4 to 5 people; meals are served by a single cafeteria.

The College's proximity to Pedder Bay allows a broad range of waterfront program offerings. A fleet of sail boats, kayaks, canoes, and Scuba diving equipment are stored on the docks and in the floating marine biology building.


Recent graduates have placed in some of the world's top universities, and some alumni are have become notable leaders in human rights, international development, business, law, science and other fields.[2] The most common university destinations for recent students after graduation were, in order, McGill University, the University of Toronto, and Harvard University.[3] Other schools that frequently matriculate graduates of the program include Oxford, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Princeton.

Seventeen graduating students have been selected as Loran Scholars,[4] the highest number of any single secondary school. After leaving the college, thirteen students have gone on to win Rhodes Scholarships. After graduation, students are eligible to participate in the Shelby Davis Scholarship programme, which funds undergraduate study based on need at select American universities.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2012-11-03. 
  2. ^ "Alumni Universities". Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific. Retrieved September 2013. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Loran Scholars: Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific". Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation. Retrieved April 2014. 
  5. ^ "Douglas Alexander: Electoral history and profile". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Maldives ex-president Mohamed Nasheed was 'forced out'". BBC News Online. 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2012-11-03. 
  7. ^ "The Diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross - The Bishop". Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  8. ^ .Astrup, Soren; Egelund, Rikke; Astrup, Elisabeth (2008-09-09). "Enstemmig opbakning til Espersen" (in Danish). Politiken. Retrieved 2012-11-03. 
  9. ^ "Peter Sands: The banker who’s still smiling". The Sunday Times. 2008-09-28. Retrieved 2010-09-18. 
  10. ^ "Books By Alumni". Alumni Lists. Pearson College. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  11. ^ "Professor Federico Varese". University of Oxford. Retrieved 28 Dec 2013. 

External links[edit]