Trustee Community Service Award

Clarence "Dave" Davis Jr. '48

On Tuesday, August 18, 2015, at the annual HWS Buffalo summer gathering, alums, parents, friends and incoming students gathered to honor Clarence “Dave” Davis Jr. ’48 with the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Trustee Community Service Award.

The gifts Davis has given to the Colleges have been instrumental in enhancing the visual arts on campus. He funded a significant renovation to the Colleges’ gallery space in Houghton House in 2009 which led to the dedication of the space as the Clarence “Dave” Davis Jr. ’48 Gallery. In addition to providing for the physical renovation of the space, Davis established The Davis Endowment for Support of the Visual Arts that enables HWS to host important exhibitions on campus and provide necessary funding to develop resources that complement the exhibitions and enhance their educational value.

After spending a year with the U.S. Navy, Davis came to Hobart College as part of the V-12 program. At Hobart, he earned a B.S. in chemistry and economics before going on to receive an advanced degree in plant pathology from Cornell University in 1950.

Following a stint working for large nurseries in Westchester County, Davis returned to Buffalo where he opened two garden centers. He donated one property to the Colleges in 2013 and still owns and actively manages the larger nursery and garden center. As a long-time resident and businessman, Davis is an enthusiastic supporter of his community and is a particularly strong advocate for his church, the Albright-Knox Museum, the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Buffalo Center for the Arts.

A tireless advocate for young people, Davis has spent countless dollars, time and energy in support of amateur athletics. His first love is track and field and he founded the Garden Town Track Club in 1954, which continued as the Niagara Frontier Track Club until 1989. For more than 50 years, he has been involved with the Niagara Association of Amateur Athletic Union and served as its president from 1974 to 1976 and 1988 to 2013.

Davis’ service has been recognized nationally. He is the recipient of the Chevron National Community Service Award, the Don Kavadas Memorial Award for longstanding commitment to the betterment of athletics, and the AAU Veterans Gold & Silver Awards as well as the AAU Life Membership Award.


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