Spring commencement May 11

April 30, 2012

Spring commencement ceremonies will be held at Henderson State University Friday, May 11, with approximately 435 undergraduate and graduate students receiving their degrees.

The ceremony for the School of Business and Teachers College, Henderson, will begin at 3 p.m. in the Wells Center gymnasium, followed at 6 p.m. by the ceremony for the Ellis College of Arts and Sciences.

Faculty charges will be presented by Dr. Nathan Campbell, assistant professor of management, and Dr. Wayne McGinnis, professor of English. The student responses will be given by Brian D. Hunt of Arkadelphia and Rebecca Anne Albright of Queen City, Texas.

Henderson will honor brothers Sidney Davis Jr. and James Davis as its distinguished alumni. Both were born and raised in Prescott. Following a special banquet, each will speak during the commencement ceremonies.

Sidney Davis Jr. began practicing law in 1960 and is still active as an attorney with the law firm of Davis, Clark, Butt, Carithers and Taylor in Fayetteville. Davis graduated from Henderson in 1953 with a degree in mathematics. While at Henderson, he was a member of Kappa Sigma Kappa and president of the senior class. He received his bachelor of laws degree from University of Arkansas School of Law.

Davis graduated first in his class at both Henderson and the University of Arkansas. He received the Outstanding Lawyer Award in 1986 from the Arkansas Bar Foundation, and the Outstanding Defense Attorney Award in 1996 from the Arkansas Association of Defense Counsel. In 2008, he was presented the Gentleman of Distinction Award by H.O.P.E. (Helping Oncology Patients Excel).

He was a lecturer in Law & Insurance at the University of Arkansas Law School from 1962-1980. He has been a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers since 1981, serving as Arkansas State Chair from 1994-1995.

James Davis was instrumental in the development of a cellular telecommunications system for small and rural areas. He later formed Celcore Inc. with three partners. They sold the company in 1997 for $160 million.

Davis now lives in Fayetteville. He earned his degree in psychology from Henderson in 1972, and served two years in the U.S. Army. Davis then earned an engineering degree from the University of Arkansas before going to work for Southwestern Bell for a short time, then joining ITT Telecommunications in Corinth, Mississippi. That is where Davis and two other engineers successfully designed the cellular telecommunications system. He was the inventor or co-inventor of six patents.

“My engineering degree provided the building blocks for my successful career as an engineer,” said Davis. “But my psychology degree from Henderson and the commission in the U.S. Army provided the building blocks for my successful career in managing people.”

Davis recently received the Distinguish Alumni Award from the University of Arkansas College of Engineering. He was also inducted into the Arkansas Academy of Electrical Engineering.

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