Saturday, March 27, 2010

Leodis Davis

Leodis Davis (’56, College of Arts and Sciences), the 1986 UMKC Alumnus of the Year, distinguished himself as a pioneer in the field of biochemistry and as a member of the Kansas City community. While attending Lincoln High School, Davis was influenced by a faculty made up of Harvard and the University of Chicago graduates who cultivated an intellectual environment that inspired students to pursue academic success. Davis excelled in this environment, achieving high marks and recognition for his efforts graduating with honors. In 1952, after scoring extremely well on the UKC entrance exam, Davis was not only accepted to the university, he was awarded the Victor Wilson Scholarship for academic achievement. Upon graduation from UKC in 1956, Davis continued his studies at Iowa State University (1956-1960), where he earned both a master’s and a doctoral degree in biochemistry. From 1961-2006, Davis taught at several universities, including Tennessee State University in Nashville (1961-1962); Howard University Medical College in Washington, D.C. (1962-1969); and the University of Iowa in Iowa City (1969-2000). During his tenure at the University of Iowa, Davis chaired the chemistry department, served as senior associate provost and the dean of the Graduate College. In 2005, Davis and his wife, June, established the Leodis and June Davis Minority Scholarship for minority students majoring in any department within the College of Arts and Sciences and demonstrating financial need.

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