President Roderick J. McDavis
Photo courtesy of: University Communications and Marketing
Oct 26, 2011
By Ashley Anderson
The University of Arkansas awarded Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis the Silas Hunt Legacy Award on Oct. 20.
On Feb. 2, 1948, Silas Hunt became the first African American student in modern times to attend a major southern public university when he was admitted without litigation into the University of Arkansas School of Law. He died of tuberculosis in the spring of 1949 before finishing his law degree.
The award, which was established in 2005, honors African Americans who have made significant contributions or achievements in the community, state of Arkansas and the nation.
McDavis served as dean of the University of Arkansas College of Education and Health Professions and as a professor of counselor education, 1989-1994, making him the first African-American dean in the university's history. He also served as the director of the Arkansas Academy for Leadership Training and School-Based Management, 1992-1994.
"Receiving the Silas Hunt Legacy Award is an extremely high honor and I am humbled that the University of Arkansas, a place that I hold dear to my heart, selected me to be one of the recipients of the award," McDavis said. "Silas Hunt was a pioneer and inspiration to African-American youth. This award encourages me to continue to do all I can to lift up the next generation of youth and help them achieve their dreams."
This year's other Silas Hunt Legacy Award recipients are alumnus and attorney C.C. Mercer, former head basketball coach Nolan Richardson and School of Nursing alumna Marjorie Wilkins Williams.
Throughout the 2011-12 academic year, the recipients will participate in a variety of on-campus conversations, lectures and community events. The year of celebration will conclude with a black-tie event in April 2012.
To date, the University of Arkansas has honored 16 people with the Silas Hunt Legacy Award. Their names are engraved on a plaque, which hangs in the Silas Hunt Memorial Room in the Arkansas Union.
For more information about the Silas Hunt Legacy Award, click here.*