HU Honors College director let students know they could grow
By Wayne Dawkins
It was an honor to serve Freddye Davy.
She was director of the Hampton University Honors College. Davy, 79, died June 2.
A few years ago the affable director took me to lunch. Before I realized what was about to happen, I was persuaded to teach a seminar on the history of American Newspaper columnists. Last semester, I introduced a new seminar, political cartooning, at Davy’s urging.
For 50 minutes on Tuesdays, I had a delightful time exchanging ideas with 10 highly motivated students from around campus, including four from my journalism and communications school.
In other instances, several of my students took courses for Honor College credit. That meant in addition to the required coursework, the student committed to completing an additional project, such as a research paper, or in another case, a student’s intuitively creative hands-on project in which she helped me edit writing assignments for an overloaded class.
Davy always looked for ways to let bright students to grow and know they had permission to reach even higher.
When Davy arrived at Hampton in 1994, the Honors College was established for eight years. Davy however put the program in motion: She transformed the curriculum, initiated seminars and instituted rites and rituals for induction and graduation, according to HU’s memoriam.
I’ve witnessed these rituals first-hand, for example when I attended the March induction ceremony of 51 exceptional students. At the May commencement, 27 seniors finished as Honors College graduates and sat proudly yolked with distinctive cords.
In April, during the 37th annual Honors Day, President William R. Harvey announced that the program housed in Du Bois Hall would be renamed the Freddye T. Davy Honors College, a lasting legacy for the founder and executive director of the National W.E.B. Du Bois Honor Society.
A memorial service for Davy will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday at Ogden Hall on campus.