Gordon B. Davidson 1949
When one thinks of Gordon Davidson, certain words come to mind: Intelligent. Independent. Loyal to his friends. Successful, in all of its definitions. Devoted to Centre College.
Gordon came to Centre from his hometown of Louisville. He became a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity and, as is characteristic of distinguished alumni, earned his bachelor’s degree in English and history. He went on to earn degrees from both the University of Louisville and Yale schools of law.
He quickly became an indispensable part of the business and civic life of Louisville and a leader for his alma mater. Gordon established himself as one of Louisville’s leading attorneys, eventually serving as Managing Partner and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the law firm of Wyatt, Tarrant, and Combs. He also served on numerous corporate boards, including BellSouth, The Courier-Journal and Louisville Times Company, and WHAS Broadcasting, among others. He has also been instrumental in Louisville’s emergence as a leading center for the arts, serving as chairman of the Kentucky Center for the Arts, the Greater Louisville Fund for the Arts, and the Louisville Theatrical Association.
Even more distinguished than his work for his hometown is his wide-ranging service to Centre College. An emeritus trustee of the College, Gordon has helped to lead every major fundraising effort in the recent history of Centre, participating in alumni and admission activities, and provided advice and support to innumerable students.
But of all the reasons for which we can rightly honor Gordon, one stands out – a reason that, at first blush, might seem trivial. In the midst of an interview for the video that accompanied the Front and Centre campaign some years ago, he captured the essence of a Centre education in one simple phrase when he said that “Centre is about the guided growth of the individual.” In his words, in his action, in his character, Gordon embodies the best of the Centre Experience.