May 9, 1996
Vol. 15, No. 17

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    Obituary: John Davey, College

    John R. Davey, Associate Professor Emeritus and former Dean of Students in the College, died March 26 in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 91.

    Davey received his A.B. in 1927 from Wittenberg University and the following year joined the faculty at the Laboratory Schools, where he taught high school until 1940. In 1935, he received his A.M. in history from the University, and shortly thereafter he joined the faculty of the College, where he taught sequences in the history of Western civilization and the humanities until his retirement in 1970.

    From 1945 to 1955, he served as Dean of Students in the College. During this time, the undergraduate student population ranged from armed-services veterans to "early entrants" who came to the College prior to high school graduation. Davey was known for effectively utilizing a student orientation board to help meet the needs of this diverse student population.

    Davey's career at the University was characterized by an allegiance to the concepts and innovations of then-Chancellor Robert Hutchins, said his son, John Phelps Davey, a Hyde Park resident. "My father was firmly committed to Hutchins' ideas for the University," Davey said. "He believed in a core curriculum of general education, a preference for classroom discussion instead of lecture, the use of examinations for entrants' placement and final comprehensive examinations for course credit, and a College faculty more dedicated to teaching than research."

    Davey was honored for his own contributions as a teacher with the Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 1944.

    In addition to his son, Davey is survived by two granddaughters. His wife, Elizabeth Phelps Davey, died in 1995. Arrangements for a memorial service are pending.