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Boris '01 ad Tiara Henderson '97 on their Davidson College experience

The Footsteps You Follow

When Boris ’01 and Tiara Henderson ’97 talk about their Davidson experiences, they light up. They are each defined by their years as students and by their joint decision to remain active and engaged as passionate alumni, successful business leaders and loving parents to four-year-old Blair and one-year-old William. They are Davidson—humble and proud.

“I turned down two full rides before I even knew if I had a scholarship to attend Davidson,” recalled Tiara, a psychology major and cheerleader who went on to earn an MBA from Queens University. “I found out about Davidson by looking through a book in my high school library. It felt like a fit, so I drove my application to campus so it wouldn’t be late. Thank goodness that all worked out.”

Boris’ path to Davidson couldn’t have been more different, but his reflection of his college experience is just as affirmative. Growing up in one of the early Habitat for Humanity homes in Charlotte, he and his family faced challenges, but through “God’s grace” and circumstance, he met people who transformed his life … people who would eventually encourage him to visit Davidson, where he fell in love with all of the possibilities.

“My mentor and surrogate father is a Davidson grad, and he took a deep interest in me many years ago, which has made a world of a difference in my life,” the biology major recalled. “I was very fortunate to have been a student athlete during my four years at Davidson, and during my senior year, I was a member of the Wildcat football team that finished with a perfect season. It was a magical moment for the entire campus and the community. That moment epitomizes what Davidson means to so many students, alumni and supporters. Magical.”

Though they didn’t go through college together, their Davidson experiences provide a bond that helps them understand each other as well as their fellow alumni.

“I love the fact that when I am dealing with Davidson alumni, I know exactly what I’m getting,” said Boris, who has enjoyed a career in banking. “As an alumnus, you are a member of the Davidson family that has a proud history of people who continue to shape the world as we know it. Those are the remarkable footsteps you follow. It impacts the way we live our lives—personally, professionally, on all levels. It’s who we are.”

Giving back to alma mater hasn’t been a difficult decision for the couple at all.

“It’s like if you left home after 18 years and just told your mom thanks for everything and never talked to her again,” said Tiara, an entrepreneur who recently returned to the world of banking. “If something nurtures you, you nurture it back. I get so frustrated on the rare occasion I meet alumni who aren’t doing much for Davidson.”

“Davidson has done so much for me, it’s only fitting that we give in every possible way we can,” said Boris. “I am forever indebted to our alma mater for a tremendous educational experience and lifelong friends.”

Their involvement isn’t waning. Boris serves on the Davidson Athletic Foundation Board, and Tiara is a candidate for President of the Alumni Association Board. They volunteer for their class reunions, and they are active in the greater Charlotte community. Boris’ life has truly come full circle as he now sits on the Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors.

If Davidson helps students develop lives of leadership and service, Boris and Tiara Henderson are the proof.

—Danielle Strickland

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