Information Update - Fall 2002

Remembering Royden B. Davis, S.J.

The Weinberg Memorial Library has lost a true friend and inspiration with the death of Royden B. Davis, S.J. A founding member and the first President of the Friends of the Weinberg Memorial Library, Father Davis was an active member of the Friends' Board from 1994 until his death. Father Davis had a long and distinguished career. He received a B.S.S., J.D., L.L.B. and D.H.L. from Georgetown and also held an M.A. and a Ph.L from St. Louis University and an S.T.L from Woodstock College. It's hard to believe that this gentle scholar served in the U.S. Army from 1943-1945 as a gunner in an anti-aircraft battery. Fr. Davis entered the Society of Jesus in 1950, became ordained in 1959, and pronounced his final vows in the Society of Jesus in 1967. He began his administrative career in 1965 at Georgetown University as Dean of Freshmen and the Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and in 1966, he moved into the post of Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, holding that post until 1989. In 19 85, he received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Georgetown, and in 1992 Georgetown named an endowed chair in interdisciplinary studies in his honor. During his tenure as Dean at Georgetown, he oversaw the inauguration of the American Studies Program, the establishment and development of the Psychology department, the creation of the Sociology and Computing Science departments, and the admission of female students. In 1989, Fr. Davis direc ted Georgetown's Foreign Studies Program in Florence, Italy, and served as the Chair of the Ignatian Anniversary in 1990. In 1991, Fr. Davis returned to The University of Scranton, where he had been a professor in the 1950's, to serve as rector of the Jesuit Community. While rector, he also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of both the University and the Scranton Preparatory School. At the conclusion of his service as rector, he remained at the University as an Associate Campus Minister and Chaplain of the Panuska College of Professional Studies. He served as a member of the President's Task Force on Ignatian Mission and Identity. In recognition for his outstanding contributions to the Ignatian Missions, in 1997, The University of Scranton presented Fr. Davis with the Pedro Arrupe, S.J ., Award for Ignatian Mission and Ministries. Fr. Davis will be remembered for his gentle smile, warm personality, passion for learning, and devout belief. The Library's Hill-Davis Jesuit Collection has been named in his honor and in honor of Father William B. Hill.

Bonnie Strohl

 

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