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Al Davis, a lifetime of RIT service and commitment

Al Davis

Alfred L. Davis '41 is one individual who has had an extraordinary impact on the RIT of the past, present and future. For over 60 of the Institute's 170 years, Davis has been engaged in the life of the university, serving as advisor to four RIT presidents, as a mentor and a role model to both students and staff members, and as a dedicated and committed volunteer and benefactor who, as a retiree, continues to contribute in numerous ways to making RIT the best that it can be.

"The name of Al Davis is most highly regarded here at RIT and in the Rochester community at large," says President Albert Simone. "Indeed, RIT is proud that Al Davis's name continues to be associated with the university. His contributions to RIT have truly been exceptional."

During his years as RIT vice president in the 1960s and 1970s, Al Davis played a key role in shaping RIT's destiny by helping to raise the funds to build a new campus in Henrietta. Through these efforts, he developed a fine appreciation for the selfless generosity of these RIT benefactors and their profound impact on the students and the community of which the university has been such an integral part. Today, Davis recalls the legacy of each and every one of these individuals and speaks eloquently to RIT and community audiences of their respective roles in RIT's history.

In recognition of RIT's historical roots and to appropriately demonstrate appreciation to these individuals and others, Davis was instrumental in founding the Nathaniel Rochester Society (NRS) in 1967. To recognize his service and commitment to the NRS, in 1988 Davis was presented the Nathaniel Rochester Society Award. He is also a charter member of RIT's Mark and Marcia Ellingson Society, which was formed to recognize individuals who have made a planned or deferred gift to RIT.

In 1977, RIT board member Brackett Clark and his wife, Ruth, established the Alfred L. and Ruby C. Davis endowed scholarship. It was the Clarks' intention to recognize Al for his many contributions to the development of RIT, and Ruby, for her significant role, with Mrs. Clark and Mrs. Ellingson, in establishing the RIT Women's Council. The fund is unique because, at Davis's request, the scholarships are awarded to students who are campus leaders, and who have demonstrated service to the university through club memberships, volunteer activities, and the like. In establishing these criteria. Davis recognized that the future of RIT will depend upon such voluntary efforts, and again his efforts have established the benchmark for these young men and women.

Al Davis continues to demonstrate through his own words and deeds the extraordinary importance of philanthropy in the life the university, In 1996, Davis's support made it possible for RIT to build a new childcare facility to replace the former Horton Child Care Center. The new facility, named in memory of his late wife Margaret Welcher Davis, enables RIT to provide students, faculty, and staff with an exceptional state-of-the art daycare center. "This kind of high-quality child-care center was Margaret's vision of what early childhood education should be," Davis says of Margaret's House.

Margaret's House director Roberta DiNoto adds: "The next generation of the RIT community is growing up with the benefit of the Davises' understanding, compassion and generosity."

"The dedication, commitment and philanthropy of Al Davis have taken RIT through the last portion of this century and will continue to guide us in the next millennium, as well," says President Simone. "RIT has indeed been fortunate to have such a relationship."