Published: Thu Jun 10, 2004Judy and Jerry Davis’ generosity and support of Tennessee Tech University earned appreciation and recognition from the Tennessee Board of Regents during its meeting on TTU’s campus this week.
The couple received the TBR’s Regents’ Award for Excellence in Philanthropy from Chancellor Charles Manning for their donations to the university’s colleges and departments as well as to individual students.
In the past seven years, the Davises have donated or pledged more than $3.75 million for scholarships, classroom technology and teaching tools, library resources, and the nursing building fund. As chair of the TTU Foundation Board of Directors, Judy Davis is currently leading the most ambitious fund-raising endeavor in university history.
Judy Davis, a 1967 TTU alumnus in elementary education, and her husband, Jerry, co-founded and sold Computer Management Sciences Inc., a hugely successful business. Both battled and overcame cancer to find that their experiences affected their lives and influenced their generous nature.
They began by playing a significant role in Tennessee Tech’s first campus-wide capital campaign, creating the Horace M. Jeffers Memorial Scholarship Endowment and the Horace M. Jeffers Scholars Fund, both in memory of Judy Davis’ father, and the 21st Century Production and Teaching Laboratories Endowment in the College of Education. They have also given $1 million to the Angelo and Jennette Volpe Library and $100,000 to TTU’s School of Nursing.
The couple, who live in Jacksonville, Fla., and maintain a home in Oneida, Tenn., also looked close to home to help students reach their potential. Recognizing the Scott County-Oneida area as one of the poorest regions in the state, the Davises provide full scholarships to 12 Oneida High School graduates each year to attend Tennessee Tech. Currently, 50 students are attending TTU as a result of this program.
The couple’s generosity also extends to Jerry Davis’ alma mater, the University of Florida, where they support the College of Medicine with endowments created to support research, technology and faculty expertise and the College of Journalism and Communication.Regents’ Award recipients are nominated by university presidents and are selected by the board based on the generous giving of time and resources to TBR institutions, major influence on volunteers, effective example setting, ethical leadership and exceptional civic responsibility and integrity. TTU alumnus Harry Stonecipher received the 2003 Regents’ Award.