Behind the Name: Robert A. Davis Performing Arts Center
Robert Aldine Davis
Davis (1928-1997) served as President of Florida Southern College from 1976 to 1994. Dr. Davis was born in Broxton, Georgia, completing the B.B.A with honors at the University of Georgia, the M. Div. Degree at Emory University and the S.T.M. Degree at Yale University on a Danforth Scholarship. Before coming to Florida Southern, he was Director of Wesley Foundation at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and Georgia Institute of Technology, on the executive staff of the Methodist Division of Higher Education in Nashville and President of Brevard College at Brevard, North Carolina.
Dr. Davis was inaugurated on November 12, 1976. During his presidency the College endowment made an important advance, including major contributions to new scholarships and the first endowed chairs: the Jessie Ball duPont Chair in the Natural Sciences, the Nelson C. White Chair in the Life Sciences, the John and Ruth Tyndall Chair in Citrus, the William F. Chatlos Professorship of Business Administration and initiation of the Bishop Edward J. Pendergrass Chair in Religion. Three new buildings were added to the campus debt free at the end of construction: the Chatlos Journalism Building, the Charles Jenkins Residence Hall and the J. Carlisle Rodgers Building. Debt-free construction also included the Centennial Tower. In 1981 Florida Southern men's teams dominated the NCAA major sports championships by winning first place in baseball, basketball and golf. In 1982 the golf team was the first to repeat the national championship in consecutive years.
President Davis' off-campus leadership included: President of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida, President of Florida Independent College Foundation, member of the University Senate of the Methodist Church, Director of the North American Council of the International Association of University Presidents, member of the Florida Council of 100, member of the Second District of Appeal Judicial Nominating Commission of the State of Florida and member of the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Robert A. Davis Performing Arts Center - Florida Southern College