Keep W.R. Davies for new student center

The new student center should be named the W.R. Davies University Center in honor of William R. Davies, the second President of Eau Claire State Teachers College (1940-1959). Under Davies’ leadership the campus added academic buildings and dormitories, established the Forum in 1942, established faculty and student government, and granted the first bachelor and liberal arts degrees. The Forum continues today, after 69 years, making it one of the longest running speaker series at a university.

As a student I served as a student senator, something that might not have happened without Davies’ vision for what we now call shared governance. Davies’ preparations paved the way for the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire to become the four-year comprehensive university of today. There is no better or more fitting way to honor the legacy and vision of William R. Davies than to name the new student center the W.R. Davies University Center. Naming buildings after significant university figures honors their contributions, compels students to ask why, and leads students to understand the importance of history.

Jacob Gapko
Class of 2001