Category Archives: Encyclopedia

Alumni Association Awards

The Davidson College Alumni Association gives out 4 awards in recognition of the service and accomplishments of former Davidsonians. To see lists of the awards and the citations for the winners, use the link below.

Alumni Awards Database

The awards are:

The Alumni Service Award, first given in 1973, recognizes those who have given a high degree of service to the college.

The Distinguished Alumni Award, first given in 1973, recognizes those who have provided leadership on a national or regional level within their profession or business.

The John W. Kuykendall Award for Community Service, first given in 1997, is named for Davidson’s 15th president (1984-97. This award recognizes alumni who have provided extraordinary service to their community and demonstrated leadership in the spirit of John W. Kuykendall.

The Young Alumni Service Award recognizes a more recent graduate on or his or her exceptional service to the college

Alumni Award recipients in 1989. Don Davidson '39, Tom Clark'49, Sally Craig '81 (accepting for her father Ben Craig'54), Sam Smith '29, Boo Walker '39, Fred Smyre '34 and Alexander Schenck '34.
Alumni Award recipients in 1989. Don Davidson ’39, Tom Clark’49, Sally Craig ’81 (accepting for her father Ben Craig’54), Sam Smith ’29, Boo Walker ’39, Fred Smyre ’34 and Alexander Schenck ’34.
Alumni Award recipients in 1993, Jason '91 and Bonnie Brannon for Russ Brannon '68, Mitzi Short '83,and Joseph McCoy, Jr. '43.
Alumni Award recipients in 1993, Jason ’91 and Bonnie Brannon for Russ Brannon ’68, Mitzi Short ’83,and Joseph McCoy, Jr. ’43.


Sandifer, Myron G.

Myron G. Sandifer, Jr., Class of 1943, holds the distinction of being the only student to be class valedictorian and student body president. Myron grew up in the small hamlet of Lowrys, South Carolina (population of about 100). He came to Davidson in the fall of 1939, after graduating from Chester High School. A chemistry… Continue Reading

Educational Studies Department

Education courses have been taught at Davidson College since 1914. At that time, only once course was taught by Professor Currie. Replaced by Dr. Hood, a professor of psychology and education, Dr. Hood was the only education professor until the education and psychology departments were each growing popular enough to have their own professors. In… Continue Reading

Anthropology Department

Anthropology began at Davidson College as an Introductory Anthropology class offered by the Sociology Department in 1950. This course was the only anthropology course offered until 1971 when other departments such as South East Asian studies began offering anthropology-based courses. In 1978, students were offered the opportunity to major in Sociology and Anthropology (one major).… Continue Reading

German Studies Department

German has been offered at Davidson since 1874. At that time, depending on the finances, Davidson offered classes from either one or two language departments, and in 1874, Davidson College offered classes from both the Greek and German Department and Latin and French Department. In that year, William Myron Thornton was the professor of Greek… Continue Reading

Hispanic Studies Department

Davidson College has offered Spanish courses since 1917, while Greek, German, French, and Latin were offered before. Only one elementary-level course was taught at the time by Dr. Grey, and by 1920, two Spanish courses were offered: elementary and intermediate. By 1921, Davidson students started a Spanish club, and 247 Davidson students were enrolled in… Continue Reading

Russian Department

Russian classes were first offered at Davidson in 1989 with classes in language, culture, and literature while Russian was offered as a self-instructional language since 1984. Ms. Bonnie Marshall was the first Davidson professor to teach Russian. Russian classes were listed under the German/Russian Department (and for a brief time, the German/Russian/Japanese Department) until Russian… Continue Reading

Quillen, Carol

Carol Quillen began her tenure as Davidson’s 18th president on August 1, 2011, and was officially inaugurated on October 18, 2011. Quillen has the distinction of being the first female president of Davidson College, and is the first president since 1958 who is not a Davidson alumnus. Quillen grew up in New Castle, Delaware, a… Continue Reading

War Casualties

World War I Edgar B. Anderson ’15 Joseph Sidney Bachman ’18 Samuel Chandler Baker ’86 Pressley Robinson Brown ’06 Thomas McNeill Bulla ’07 Reid Davis Cranford ”19 James McCants Douglas ’10 Samuel Chalmers Hart ’12 Joseph Sidney Bachman ’18 Samuel Chandler Baker ’86 Pressley Robinson Brown ’06 Thomas McNeill Bulla ’07 Reid Davis Cranford ”19… Continue Reading

English Department

When Davidson College was founded in 1837, English was not a formal part of the curriculum. In 1855, the college created a professorship in Belles Lettres with a focus on composition rather than the teaching of literature. Victor Barringer was elected the first Troy Professor of Belle Lettres in 1860 but  soon went on leave… Continue Reading

Scripts ‘N Pranks

After The Yowl was retired, most of the editorial staff remained to produce Scripts ‘N Pranks, a magazine devoted to “literature (scripts) and humor (pranks).”  The first issue was produced in November of 1936. It was a quarterly magazine until the fall of 1958, when it began publishing three times a year.  In the early… Continue Reading

Masters Degree at Davidson

Origins In August 1854, the trustees officially proclaimed that “Any student graduating at this Institution having been engaged in literary pursuits for three years, and of good moral character, shall be entitled to the degree of A.M” (Beaty 181). The A.M degree, which Davidson had been awarding to distinguished alumni since 1846, was a means… Continue Reading

Junior Speaking

The Junior and Senior Speaking exercises grew out of commencement activities, when representatives of the two literary societies would present orations as part of the ceremonies. Members of the junior class would give a series of orations, punctuated by musical performances on topics ranging from “Liberty vs. License” to “The Preservation of Democracy” and from… Continue Reading

Maxwell Chambers Day

As a component of the 19th century curriculum, Davidson seniors were required to give orations before the faculty and students. In 1890, the occasion of Senior speaking was expanded, the Davidson Monthly recounts, to make “the occasion of the Senior Speaking a holiday, and invitations are to be sent out as for commencement.” The occasion… Continue Reading


First published in February 1996, Libertas is a student-run publication for Davidson, “conceived by students in response to the recognizable gap that lies between The Davidsonian and Hobart Park” to further the dissemination of the wide ranges of ideas, beliefs and values of the Davidson College community. It is further intended, according to the statement… Continue Reading

Hobart Park

According to a 1960 Davidsonian article, from 1925-1960 Mr. Don Hobart “served Davidson as the college supervisor of buildings and grounds, in a labor of love which made Davidson’s campus a showplace the year ’round. When he came to the campus in 1925, Davidson was a place of muddy roads, sparse and unkempt grass and… Continue Reading

Hobart Park (magazine)

A literary magazine started in December 1978, Hobart Park was originally published three times a year by students, but it is now published in the spring of each year.  The contributors are mostly students, but a few professors have also contributed.  The magazine consists of original fiction, non-fiction, poetry and photography by student and faculty… Continue Reading


In its earliest days, Davidson College established a manual labor system required of all students to promote health and prevent idleness among the students. In order to facilitate this manual labor system, the Concord Presbytery determined that “A manual labor system called for someone to oversee the labor–a farmer, in fact, who could work with… Continue Reading

Court of Control

In 1923, “On Saturday April 7th, the student body of Davidson College voted unanimously to abolish every form of hazing that had existed in the college, and to leave to a body of eight men the important task of supervising the Freshmen.”  This body, consisting of four seniors, two juniors, and two sophomore, all appointed… Continue Reading


WALT 1610 AM, the Davidson College Student run and operated Radio Station, was founded in 1986. It’s constitution states that “WALT. will act not only as an opportunity for interested students seeking involvement in radio, but will also serve as an alternative form of radio that is unavailable in this area. WALT. will also serve… Continue Reading

Statement of Purpose

As early as February 1960, then President D. Grier Martin began envisioning a statement of purpose for Davidson College. Within the course of the next two years, Martin’s idea began to take shape, as a “Committee on Purpose” was formed in January 1962. As David Wheeler explained, “these men sought not only to grasp the… Continue Reading

Encyclopedie (Diderot)

  One of the most interesting, valuable, and mysterious holdings in the Smith Rare Book Room is a first edition of the 35 volume Encyclopedie; ou Dictionnaire raisonne des sciences des arts et des metiers, published between 1751 and 1788 in Paris by Denis Diderot, writer and philosopher of the Enlightenment. Davidson owns one of… Continue Reading