Ed '60 and Anne Davis
"It's always been a joint venture," said Ed Davis '60. You might say that Ed and his wife, Anne, are role models as, together, they planned their philanthropic giving to Muhlenberg around their appreciation for education and the lifelong relationships and financial aid they received as first-generation college students. "It started with me getting a grant in aid in my senior year in high school to attend Muhlenberg," Ed said. "We decided we always wanted to pay back."
And "pay back" they have done in so many ways. Ed is a trustee emeritus who served as a class fund chair and co-chair of his reunion committee. They are both HMMS donors and members of the Lifetime Giving Society and Circle of 1848. Anne was an admissions counselor at the College for 15 years and saw, first-hand, how an investment in education pays off. Though not a Muhlenberg graduate, she was honored with an achievement award in 2007 as a "Friend of the College."
The Davises equate Muhlenberg with opportunity and nostalgia. "Muhlenberg gave both of us a start in our careers and gave us new friends and long-term friends that we still have today," Ed said. After graduating with a degree in biology, Ed earned a master's in biology from Kutztown University, has post-grad certificates in administration at Lehigh University, and entered a doctoral program at Temple University.
Anne took a semester of nursing classes at Muhlenberg, which is when she met Ed, then completed her dual degree in nursing and education at East Stroudsburg. She received a post-graduate degree in counseling from Kutztown University before joining the College as staff. They met in January 1960 during Ed's senior year and married in 1963 at Egner Chapel, where they've renewed their vows twice at both 25 and 50 years together. This year marks their 57th anniversary.
They are both retired from the Parkland School District Ed from his career as teacher, coach and administrator and Anne as a school nurse and guidance counselor and are tweaking their estate planning to ensure that their gifts make a difference. "We wanted a way we could give back to other children and hopefully have a lasting impact on future generations," Anne said.
They created the Edward M. Davis Jr. '60 and Anne L. Davis Scholarship Fund which became fully funded in 2019 through cash donations and matching support from the College over the past decade. The scholarship, which is awarded to students majoring in biology and the sciences, is also mentioned in their will.
The Davises also contribute to Trexler Library, in remembrance of the Haas Library where they met, they supported the restoration of the Egner Chapel organ, and sponsored a ticket booth at Scotty Wood Stadium and Frank Marino Field where they attend games and Ed sees his varsity football alums. Each gift is intimately tied to a personal memory, a learning experience, a club they enjoyed or some involvement they had as students and staff at Muhlenberg. "It's personal," Anne said, "and it's an investment for the future of the students and the College."
"We put in our will some areas that are really important to us," Ed added. "Then, we thought about how to put that money to work. They spoke with their gift officer about endowing a scholarship would help students now, and in the future. Matching funds helped the endowment grow to the point where it is fully funded.
"We support a lot of charities, but Muhlenberg is the biggest and there are lots of ways to do it," Ed said. "You have annual giving and capital campaigns and estate planning - we try to do each of these."
"Muhlenberg gave us great experiences and life lessons along the way. And, of course, it gave us each other," Anne said. "We owe Muhlenberg more than we'd ever be able to repay."