Saturday, April 20, 2024

Davis family makes major gift to construct business engagement center at LSUS

by BIZ Magazine

A major gift from retired Rockwell International CEO and Shreveport native Don Davis and his wife, Sallie, will create a new learning hub for business students at LSU Shreveport.

The $500,000 Davis Family Business Engagement Center will provide classroom and meeting space as well as co-working spaces for students on the ground floor of the Business and Education Building. The center will feature a real-time stock ticker and lounge area among other amenities.

“This is transformative for the LSUS College of Business,” said LSUS Chancellor Dr. Robert Smith. “The success of the Davis family, and their passion for education, is going to lead to the success of so many students in the future.”

Dr. Mary Lois White, the LSUS College of Business Dean, said this center will make a positive impression on current and prospective students.

“We’re so excited to have this space that will allow our students to engage with the business community,” White said. “This space will also help our students feel welcome in the College of Business.

“A space like this will go a long way to increase student presence on campus and increase engagement with each other and the community.”

Don and Sallie Davis both graduated from Byrd High School in Shreveport. Don went on to graduate from Texas A&M with an engineering degree and later earned an MBA. Sallie graduated from the University of Texas.

After college, Don joined Allen Bradley, a factory automation manufacturer, as a sales engineer. He rose through the ranks to become president. When Rockwell Interntional bought Allen Bradley, Don joined Rockwell’s executive team.

“Don was the president, CEO, chairman of the board and chairman emeritus of Rockwell,” said Parker Davis, Don’s younger brother. “We came from just a very modest background. To come from where we’ve come from and do that, and to travel around the world, including Russia and China, the way he did with Rockwell, is truly remarkable.”

Don and Sallie have donated to support education for decades, and when they approached Parker about giving back to their hometown, he knew just who to call: LSUS Chancellor Emeritus Larry Clark.

“Parker was the very first student to register at LSUS,” Clark said. “He was also the first graduate student to graduate.”

Parker is excited that his family is able to support LSUS.

“When Dr. Clark showed me the (business engagement center) plans, I said, ‘That is just fabulous’,” Parker said. “LSUS will always hold a special place in my heart. I couldn’t afford to go off to college.”

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