SPRINGFIELD, MO. – The Evangel University Alumni Association will honor Dr. Steve Davidson, retired professor of biology and former science and technology department chair, on Saturday, Oct. 11. A Trees of Honor ceremony will be held at 12-noon during the Homecoming Celebration Banquet in the University Plaza Convention Center.
Davidson will be recognized along with three other former faculty members.
Davidson joined the Evangel faculty in 1958, and served as chair of the science and technology department for ten years. One of his most enduring legacies is the popular marine biology excursion to the Florida Keys, which he founded in the early 1970s.
He was honored with the Distinguished Service Award by Evangel in 1983.
Trees of Honor
The Trees of Honor project began as an idea formed by a small group of graduates from the early 1960’s and took root following Springfield’s great ice storm of 2007. The idea was to help replace lost trees and restore the natural beauty of the campus.
Trees have been planted on Evangel’s campus in acknowledgement of the legacy of service each of the recipients has provided to the university. An engraved bronze plaque will be placed at the base of each tree as a permanent tribute to the person being honored.
A choice to serve
In 1958, Davidson was offered the directorship of a new USDA research laboratory in Texas. He turned down the job in favor of an invitation from then Evangel College to join the faculty.
Davidson spent 38 years teaching biology and geology at Evangel. From 1961 to 1971 he served as the chair of the science and technology department, and he retired in 1996 with the title professor emeritus.
In the early 1970s, he began the bi-annual marine biology trips to the Florida Keys.
“The marine biology trips that Steve established have been a popular and influential part of our academic experience,” said Dr. Mike McCorcle, chair of the department. “After he retired, he moved to the keys for a number of years, and helped coordinate the visits for us. Steve continued diving with us well into his 70s.”
Davidson’s students will always remember his enthusiasm for learning and the dedication he showed to them on a daily basis.
In 2012, members of his family established the Steve E. Davidson Endowed Scholarship to honor their father. The scholarship is a continuing reminder of the impact that Davidson had on the students of Evangel University.
“Dad has been a life-long learner,” said Mark Davidson, Evangel alumnus and son of Dr. Davidson. “He continues to have a passion for learning new things, and one of his greatest joys is sharing what he has learned.”
To this day he continues to serve others, serving as a volunteer at Maranatha Village where he now resides.
Additional Trees of Honor award recipients for 2014 include the following: Dr. Zenas Bicket, former academic dean; Dr. Billie Davis, former chair of the behavioral sciences department; and former music department chair, John Shows.
For more information, contact University Advancement at (417) 865-2811, ext. 7333.