Graduation Speaker

Saturday, May 4, 2013 • 2:00 p.m. • Gregg Mitchell Field

Dr Hiram L DavisDr. Hiram L. Davis

Hiram L Davis is a native of St. Joseph, Missouri; the son of the late Paul L. and Bertha Turner Davis. He is a '62 graduate of Benton High School. He is married to Nancy Craighead and they have one son Michael and one grandson, Kaya.

He was awarded an Athletic Scholarship and enrolled at Missouri Valley College in 1962; he was the first Black student to live on campus and the second to play football for Coach Volney Ashford. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree (Economics and English) in 1966. His Master of Librarianship (College and University Libraries) was received in 1969 from Emporia State University (Kansas). In 1984 he received his Ph.D. (Administration, Higher Education and Library Science) from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Other Mo Valley Alums in Dr. Davis' family include a younger brother Elbert ('75) and his sister-in-law Janet (Jerman) Davis ('76).

During his thirty-five year career, Dr. Davis successfully managed a number of complex libraries in both public and private institutions. From 1996-2006 he served as Dean of Library Services at California Polytechnic State University: consisting of the colleges of agriculture, architecture, business, engineering, liberal arts, science and mathematics; extended university programs and services, research and graduate programs and a university center for teacher education. The university has an enrollment of approximately 16,000 students. As Dean he was responsible for the development, implementation and direction of all aspects of library services. Also as Dean, he developed the master plan for a new teaching and learning facility, a potential $30-$40 million project.

Prior to his tenure at Cal Poly., Dr. Davis served as the Senior Advisor for Staff Development and Transition to the Librarian of Congress and was the Deputy Librarian. In this latter capacity he served as the Library's chief operating officer; supervising the day-to-day internal operations, and LC's seven service unit head (the associate librarians for Collections Services, Constituent Services, Cultural Affairs, Human Resources; the Director of Congressional Research Service; the Register of Copyrights; and the Law Librarian) reported to him. The Library of Congress has a staff of approximately 4,600, collections totaling 110 million items, and appropriated funds at the time of $349 million.

Before his assignment at LC he was Director of Libraries at Michigan State University from 1989-1994. MSU is a member of the American Association of Universities and is one of the nation’s leading land-grant institutions with 14 colleges enrolling over 40,000 students and a faculty of approximately 6,500. Its programs of teaching, research, service, and outreach are national and international in scope. At MSU he directed a staff of 318FTE including librarians, administrative professional and clerical-technical, as well as many part time students employees and oversaw a budget of approximately 10 million dollars. The majority of library materials (3.5 million volumes) and services resided in the main library; specialized collections were housed in 17 branch libraries.

Previous assignments included Dean of University Libraries, New Mexico State University; Dean of Libraries, University of the Pacific; Head of the College Library; UCLA; Associate Director of Libraries, University of Oklahoma; Head of the Kalamazoo Valley Community College Learning Resources Center; Head of the Special Educational Materials Center, University of Kansas, and Reference Librarian at Muskingum College. In addition, he served as Director of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Library Science Doctoral Program for minority and disadvantaged students for six CIC universities: Chicago, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

He is credited with having overseen the design and building of 2 libraries and the redesign/refurbishment of 5 other libraries; these projects have totaled over $50,000,000. During his long and distinguished career, he has testified before the US Congress and State Legislative bodies in support of libraries and higher education; he has served on academic, special and public library boards and has functioned as President, vice-president, chairperson, organizer or member for a host of library related associations and consortia.

Among his honors is the Missouri Valley College Outstanding Alumnus Award, 1991; He is the recipient of the Forum Magazine’s African-American Pioneer Award; he is a member of Phi Delta Kappa, Beta Phi Mu, and Sigma Tau Delta. In ’99 he was an Executive Scholar at The Aspen Institute. Dr. Davis is listed in Who’s Who In America and Who’s Who Among Black Americans.

Dr. Davis and his wife Nancy, both retired, reside in Las Cruces, New Mexico.