For Immediate Release
October 4, 2005

Contact Information:
(775) 852-3483 ext. 425

Nation’s First Academy for Profoundly Gifted Students
to Open at University of Nevada, Reno

The Davidson Academy of Nevada Targets Middle, High School Students

(Reno, Nev.) – The University of Nevada, Reno will have up to 30 profoundly intelligent middle and high school students on its campus next year, thanks to the creation of the nation’s first public school for these highly gifted students:  The Davidson Academy of Nevada.  By enacting Senate Bill 461, the 2005 Nevada State Legislature established the criteria for this new public, university school for profoundly gifted pupils.

 “Many of the next-generation Nobel laureates could come from these profoundly gifted youth who will be taught and nurtured by our faculty,” said University President John M. Lilley.

“This prestigious new academy will play an important role in cultivating talented young students to address this country’s most pressing challenges in the increasingly competitive global marketplace,” he added.

The Academy is the brainchild of educational software entrepreneurs Bob and Jan Davidson, founders of the Davidson Institute for Talent Development.  Their former company, Davidson & Associates, was known for the popular Math Blaster™ and Reading Blaster™ software series and its acquisition of Blizzard Entertainment, whose software products Warcraft™, Starcraft™ and Diablo™ became runaway best-sellers.  

“We are losing our brightest students because the one-size-fits-all approach to education is not working,” said Jan Davidson.  “That is why we are launching The Davidson Academy of Nevada, to provide an opportunity for these very bright students to learn at a pace and depth commensurate with their abilities and allow them to soar academically. This will not only benefit the students, the fruits of their labor and advanced abilities will benefit the citizens of our nation as well.”

Approximately half of the 3 million gifted students in the United States are underachieving because they are not challenged by their school curriculum, and up to 20 percent of high school dropouts test in the gifted range, according to the Handbook of Gifted Education.

Davidson added that the Academy is intended to help America address what many believe is the nation’s slipping innovative edge and slowing productivity, with nearly 45 percent of new U.S. patents now granted to foreigners.

“Our most talented students rank near the bottom of industrialized nations in math and science comparisons, and only 39 percent of recent American university doctorates in engineering have been granted to American students,” she said.  “Our nation has been neglecting the education of our brightest students; this new Academy will be an example of how we can reverse this trend.”

The Davidson Academy of Nevada ( will open its doors in the fall of 2006 on the University of Nevada, Reno campus, with profoundly gifted middle and high school students who have met all the necessary application requirements.

 “We chose the University of Nevada for our Academy because of the quality of the teaching and research being undertaken here,” said Bob Davidson.  “It is classified by the Carnegie Foundation among the top 150 research universities in the country, and many of its faculty have academic credentials from the nation’s top programs in their area of specialty.  An added bonus is the University’s safe, beautiful campus environment as the backdrop to the intense educational experience our Academy will provide.”

Davidson Academy students will be able to accelerate through the required middle and high school curriculum at a pace appropriate to their abilities and motivation until they become fully matriculated into the University through accelerated course options. Many of them will then proceed through undergraduate and graduate level coursework as they meet the prerequisites to do so. 


  [Editor’s Note:  Based in Reno, Nev., the Davidson Institute for Talent Development is a nonprofit foundation founded in 1999 by Bob and Jan Davidson.  Last year, the Davidsons co-authored Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting Our Brightest Young Minds, published by Simon & Schuster.  For more information, please visit; for information about Genius Denied, as well as federal and state gifted education policies, please visit]