Following approval by the University of Oklahoma, Cameron University and Rogers State University Board of Regents earlier today, the Cameron University Foundation has established the Davis Family Endowed Lectureship in Communication. The endowment is made possible thanks to a gift from the Don C. Davis family and the Brewer Trust. Cameron will now seek matching funds from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education for this endowment.
“We are so appreciative of this gift from the Davis family and the Brewer Trust,” says Cameron President John McArthur. “This endowment will provide support for Cameron’s award-winning Journalism and Media Production degree program.”
The gift honors the contributions of three generations of the Davis Family to Cameron University. Members of the family include Clarence L. Davis and Wilma J. Davis, president and first lady of Cameron from 1957 to 1960; Kay Davis Crow, an English instructor at Cameron in 1960-61; Beverly J. Davis, a Cameron student and later an English instructor at Cameron during the 1970s; Don C. Davis and Beverly J. Davis, president and first lady of Cameron from 1980 to 2002; and D. Casey Davis, Joshua C. Davis and Susan Crow Young, all Cameron students.
Former Cameron President Don C. Davis, his wife Beverly, and sons Casey and Josh visited campus in December 2015 to formally sign the documentation establishing the endowment.
After attending Cameron for two years, Don C. Davis earned a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1965. As a student, he worked as an editor for the student newspaper and yearbook. He also worked as a freelance journalist, writing articles that were published in newspapers in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Dallas, Kansas City, Denver, Amarillo, and Lincoln, Neb. He also wrote a sports column for several weekly newspapers in Oklahoma. While pursuing his law degree, he was a reporter for The Oklahoma Journal.
Among the many achievements during his tenure as Cameron president, Davis established KCCU, a broadcast affiliate of National Public Radio.
“One of the things we thought was very important about KCCU was providing a source for in-depth and unbiased news coverage and classical music for this part of America,” Davis says. “KCCU has always had a special place in my heart because it does those two things.”
“With the establishment of KCCU in 1989, Dr. Davis brought a new aspect of experiential learning to Cameron University,” says McArthur. “Having a radio station on campus allows us to provide a journalism student with a professional-level, quality learning experience. With the addition of www.AggieCentral.com, the student-run convergence media website, Cameron students are able to hone their skills further in both print and broadcast journalism. That’s something we hope to see at Cameron for a long, long time.”
For Davis, merging the worlds of print and broadcast media is one of the first steps to a successful career as a journalist.
“Broadcast journalism is based on being able to tell a story, and to tell the story, you have to be able to write the story,” Davis says. “You have to teach students to learn to write before they can effectively communicate. Journalism is a profession recognized in the Bill of Rights, because the Founding Fathers considered it important to protect the rights of the press. Just as we as journalists need to staunchly defend the rights of freedom of the press, we need to be able to tell the story.”
The Davis Family Endowed Lectureship in Communication promotes and celebrates the academic and professional tenets of broadcast journalism with a particular focus on public, not-for-profit radio and digital productions. It will support student-produced broadcast journalism programming that is delivered through radio, internet streaming or other technologies as well as named, thematic, continuing Public Radio news shows on KCCU; and to promote convergence journalism initiatives, theory and community awareness.
January 28, 2016