Augustana College printing logo

June  08, 2010

Augustana dedicates the Donald C. Davis Office

Dr. Donald C. Davis
Dr. Donald C. Davis at a reception in his honor May 17. For more, see the photo gallery.

Retired professor Dr. Donald C. Davis '47 was honored when a faculty office in the Communication Sciences and Disorders department was dedicated in his name May 17, 2010.

Augustana President Steven C. Bahls, CSD faculty, staff, students and alumni and friends gathered for the ceremony. Dr. Davis, accompanied by his son, Dan Davis '77, attended the dedication and reception and expressed his thanks.

An anonymous donor, wishing to express gratitude for the teaching and guidance shared by Dr. Davis during his rich tenure at Augustana, gave the gift to name the office space. CSD department chair Dr. Kathy Jakielski makes her office home in the newly named Dr. Donald C. Davis Office.

President Bahls dedicated the office in remarks that heralded Davis' 38 years of service to the college and community.

"The untold number of lives touched, and enriched, by this program is astonishing," Bahls said. "If you were to add to that the work done by the program's graduates — who go on to serve around the nation — the impact of Augustana's Center for Communicative Disorders becomes awe-inspiring."

Professor Emeritus Barbara Roseman, retiring CSD professor, also offered words of recognition for the personal commitment and dedication Davis gave over the years. "Dr. Davis is still the person I want to be when I grow up," she said.

The Davis family experienced the death of Don's wife, Lois (Sherrill) Davis '45, in January 2010. Dr. Davis, now 88 years of age, was visibly moved by the dedication and reception in his honor.

Alumni who would like to share words of congratulations, gratitude or memories of their experiences with Dr. Davis and the CSD program, are invited to email their comments to Anne Bergren, director of Donor Relations and Stewardship, by June 30, 2010. All comments will be compiled and presented to Dr. Davis in person.

Dr. Donald C. Davis Office Dedication, text of remarks by President Steven C. Bahls, Augustana College

I'm very pleased to be here today as we pay tribute to Dr. Don Davis for his innumerable contributions to Augustana College.

Don Davis was among the first students of the "Speech Rehabilitation" major offered through Augustana's Speech Department beginning in 1945. After graduating in 1947, Don went on to earn his master's degree and doctorate at Northwestern, joining the faculty here in 1950. When Speech Therapy was established as a department independent of Speech, Don initially led both.

There are many highlights in his 38-year tenure on the Augustana faculty, including his creation of the weekly This Is Augustana television program which aired on local station WHBF from the 1950s to the 1980s. But of special note today is Don's work in building up the program today known as the Center for Communicative Disorders.

Because of this program, Augustana students who major in Communication Sciences and Disorders graduate with immense clinical experience that gives them a leg up in applying to some of the finest graduate programs in the country. Because of this program, families across our region are able to access assessment and intervention services for speech, language and hearing disorders.

The untold number of lives touched, and enriched, by this program is astonishing. If you were to add to that the work done by the program's graduates - who go on to serve around the nation - the impact of Augustana's Center for Communicative Disorders becomes awe-inspiring.

That's why we are all so pleased, and honored, to dedicate this office in honor of Don Davis today.

Dr. Donald C. Davis Office Dedication, text of remarks by Professor Emeritus Barbara Roseman

Forty years ago this past February, I first met Dr. Davis when I came to the Quad Cities to apply for a joint position at Augustana and the Easter Seal Foundation. The job was exciting and the college was impressive, but I decided to come because after only a few hours with Dr. Davis, I knew he was the person I wanted to work with and model. I realized that he was not only a well-respected and inspiring teacher, but he was also a creative and competent clinician and an innovative and encouraging administrator.

I quickly learned that he was a role model for professionalism as an active member of local, state and national organizations, but more importantly, he cared about the people we served and their families and would work tirelessly to provide for their needs. Additionally, he cared about those of us who worked for him, and he inspired us to be the best we could be.

Among my fondest memories are preparing for the yearly Easter Seal segment on his TV Show, This Is Augustana, gathering with faculty, students and staff in Sorensen Hall to stuff envelopes for the Easter Seal fund drive, and staying up all night to schedule children for the Augustana Summer Program, a program that at its height served 200 children and had a staff of over 60. About midnight, Dr. Davis would go to Mulkey's and buy us all Henny Penny chicken.

Over the following years, my initial impressions of Dr. Davis were confirmed repeatedly. Dr. Davis is still the person I want to be when I grow up.

Dr. Davis, I am grateful to be part of this well-deserved and long-overdue recognition of your impressive and longstanding contributions to the college, the CSD program, the Center and the community.