Charles Davison

Charles Davison, long-time trustee, dies at seventy-three

Charles H. Davison, a long-time trustee of the College, died on November 2, 2000, following an extended illness. He was seventy-three and a resident of Vero Beach, Florida.

A 1950 graduate of Dartmouth College, Charlie went on to earn an M.B.A. from New York University in 1953. He was an accountant with Hurdman and Cranstoun in New York City until 1955, when he became a partner in Comery, Davison and Company in his hometown of Providence, Rhode Island. In 1964, Charlie merged the firm into Peat, Marwick, Mitchell, and Company and became managing partner of the Providence office until 1965. He moved to Chicago in 1967 as managing partner and in 1977 became deputy chair of Peat, Marwick, Mitchell in New York City; he later served as vice chair of Smith, Barney, Harris, and Upham. In 1983, Charlie purchased Paramount Cards, Inc., in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and served as its chair and chief executive officer until his retirement in 1995.

Charlie was a member of Kenyon's Board of Trustees from 1978 until 1996. During his eighteen years of service, he led the board's External Affairs and Finance committees and served as a member of the Development and Executive committees. An active participant in fundraising efforts for construction of the Ernst Center, Charlie also served as chair of the Leadership Gifts Committee of the $35-million "Campaign for Kenyon" of the 1980s.

Charlie and his wife, Lessie, were generous donors to the College over the years. They were responsible for creating Kenyon's Davison Fund for Student Life, from which the annual "Philander's Phebruary Phling" and many other College events originated.

In addition to his membership on the Kenyon board, Charlie was active on a number of other civic and educational boards, including Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management as trustee, United Charities of Chicago as chair, and the boards of the New York City Ballet and City Center of New York.

Charlie is survived by his wife, Lessie Busbee Davison; three sons, Hamilton, Lang, and Andrew B. Davison '87; and three grandchildren, Carter, Will, and Laura Davison. Memorial contributions may be made to the Office of Development, Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio 43022-9623; the Moses Brown School in Providence; or Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.