Texas Tech University recently announced the single largest philanthropic donation received in the school’s history – and one of the largest investments in people and programs in an agricultural college in the country.
Gordon W. Davis, a Lubbock businessman who spent 10 years as an associate professor in the college, and his wife, Joyce, have given a $44 million donation to rename the Gordon W. Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources and further support a program he helped bring into the national spotlight.
The gift will fund three areas within the college, including a $25 million endowment that will directly benefit the college, and $4 million to be directed to establish the Gordon and Joyce Davis Endowment for Excellence in Meat and Food Science. The remaining $15 million gift from the Gordon W. Davis estate will benefit future educational efforts within the college.
Davis emotionally recalled teaching his last class at Texas Tech in the spring of 1990, remembering telling his students the importance of giving back.
“I think agriculture is a sleeping giant. We’re out here in West Texas – one of the great agriculture areas of the whole world. We have great alumni from all over the country, especially Texas, that love the college and love the education they got in agriculture at Texas Tech,” Davis said. “So why wouldn’t we want to do this and get it better and better and better? The sleeping giant gets realized and becomes one of the preeminent colleges of agricultural sciences in the world.”
But his impact went well beyond that when he started his own business and remained connected to the university.
Earlier, West Texas A&M University in Canyon announced Davis pledged $3.75 million toward adding two new department chairs to WT’s Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences.