SHERIFF WOODS REFLECTS ON THE LIFE OF FORMER CHANCELLOR LAWRENCE A. DAVIS, JR.
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Chancellor Lawrence A. Davis, Jr.,
left, presents a diploma to Lafayette Woods, Jr, during the 2004
commencement ceremony at the Pine Bluff Convention Center
Saturday, May 8, 2004.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SHERIFF WOODS REFLECTS ON THE LIFE OF FORMER CHANCELLOR LAWRENCE A. DAVIS, JR: Jefferson County, Arkansas - October 17, 2022 - With a single stroll through the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, it's pretty easy to realize the significant impact of the rich legacy of Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Jr., who passed away Saturday, October 15, 2022 at the age of 85.
In the eyes of all that knew him, Dr. Davis was a respected educator and public figure, who served as chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, formally AM&N College twenty-one years. Dr. Davis' tenure was just eight years shy of the twenty-nine-year tenure of his father, L.A. "Prexy" Davis, Sr., who served as president of AM&N College from 1943 through 1972.
Reflecting on his 2004 commencement ceremony at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice, Sheriff Lafayette Woods, Jr. recalls his relationship with Dr. Davis during his undergraduate academia.
"Dr. Davis brought personal warmth and wisdom to the commencement ceremonies for hundreds of graduates," said Sheriff Woods. "He was a stalwart supporter and champion for all students. You can always measure how much an instructor or administrator valued you as a student when your relationship extends beyond the four walls of the classroom. Dr. Davis supported me well after graduation and I am forever grateful for his mentorship."
Dr. Davis' accomplishments are deeply woven into the fabric of the Arkansas System as a published researcher in addition to being a recipient of distinguished alum awards from University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, and Iowa State. Dr. Davis made athletics at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff one of his more focused endeavors during his tenure. He made notable strides in the advancement and promotion of the various athletic programs the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff operates.
During his tenure, Dr. Davis was instrumental in the football stadium and adjoining field house being contracted and completed. The baseball complex and soccer field were also contracted and completed. He led the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff through a period of academic growth and spearheaded the accreditation and reaccreditation of various academic programs. Three new academic buildings in the center of campus, along with the renovation and construction of on-campus housing was also led by Dr. Davis.
Beyond Dr. Davis' many accomplishments, the most notable might be his 2018 induction into the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame, whereby each year, graduates of Historically Black Colleges & Universities are inducted into the Hall of Fame for significant contributions they have made in their respective fields.
"Today, Dr. Davis' legacy lives on through former students like me as well as current students that attend the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, where the impressionable impact made by Dr. Davis is evident by the success of students tomorrow," Woods said. "His generosity and commitment to student success will continue to be an inspiration to generations of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Dr. Davis touched so many lives and will be sorely missed."