Forward-thinking gift honors longtime professor, heightens School of Business profile

October 11, 2013

A leadership gift enhancing Emporia State’s School of Business further demonstrates an Emporia couple’s life-long commitment to the University and the community where it is located.

Motivating Dale and Carolyn Davis’s $100,000 gift to Now & Forever: The Campaign for Emporia State University is their belief in the potential of the School of Business to enhance the University and greater Emporia community while extending the School’s influence across Kansas and beyond.

The gift recognizes the service and achievement of Dr. John C. Rich, professor of accounting and information systems and director of student affairs and alumni for the AACSB International-accredited School of Business.

 “We want to express our appreciation for what Emporia State University has done for Carolyn and I and our family,” said Dale Davis.

“It’s also our way of congratulating John Rich for his longtime service to Emporia State,” Davis added.

 “For me personally, this has been an overwhelming and humbling experience,” said Rich, a faculty member at Emporia State since 1968, and part of the leadership team for the Now & Forever campaign.

“The thoughtfulness of the Davises in recognizing me through this gift was unexpected and is one of the most meaningful things that I have ever experienced,” Rich continued.

The Emporia State Foundation hosted a reception at Emporia State’s Sauder Alumni Center Friday, Oct. 11 to announce the gift and publicly thank the Davises for their generosity. The event featured bell chimes echoing from Silent Joe, the tower housing the bell that serves as audible evidence of success in the University’s comprehensive fund-raising campaign, echoing its “Silent No More” theme.

The Davises’ gift will support strategic marketing initiatives for the School of Business, including traditional materials such as view books, pamphlets and newsletters. In addition, it will enable the School to deliver quality and effective advertising via channels never before possible, such as television, billboards, and online.

“Their generosity means the School of Business will be able to extend its reach and heighten both the School and the quality programs we offer in Emporia, Kansas City, and online. It’s a tremendous opportunity to further our marketing efforts,” said Dr. Kristie Ogilvie, School of Business dean.

For DenaSue Potestio, president/CEO of the Emporia State Foundation, the Davises’ gift celebrates the potential for future School of Business growth. “This is a leadership gift in the truest sense of philanthropy,” she said.

“Mr. and Mrs. Davis hope this gift will be an inspiration to other School of Business supporters to enhance their commitment,” Potestio continued.

“This is a wonderful example of how partnerships build success within the community,” said Dr. Michael D. Shonrock, Emporia State president. “Dale and Carolyn’s gift will make a profound difference in how the School of Business recruits and retains students and builds its reputation.”

Dale Davis is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sauder Custom Fabrication, Inc., specialists in the design and fabrication of custom vessels serving the world’s chemical, petrochemical, petroleum and power industries. A former member of the Emporia State Foundation board of trustees, he served on the search committee that helped select the current Foundation president. He is also a founding board member of the National Teachers Hall of Fame and is a member of the School of Business Council of Advisors. Carolyn Davis is retired from ESB Financial, where she served as vice president of marketing. Among other philanthropic gifts, the Davises have been major contributors to the Emporia Humanitarian Center, the Emporia Arts Council and numerous scholarships.

The couple has three children, two of whom earned Elementary Education degrees from Emporia State: Terri McAlister (BSE 1979) of Basehor and Becky Clopton Mayes (BSE 1983) of Emporia. Their son, Michael Davis, lives in Olpe and is employed at Sauder Custom Fabrication in sales.

AACSB International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, reaffirmed the Emporia State’s accreditation in 2012. AACSB accreditation is awarded to fewer than five percent of the world’s schools of business, and is a reflection of a commitment to quality standards relating to faculty qualification, strategic management of resources, interactions of faculty and students, as well as a commitment to continuous improvement and achievement of learning goals in degree programs.

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