The Multicultural Center at Williams College, the highly rated liberal arts college in Williamstown, Massachusetts, has been renamed to honor two alumni. The Davis Center honors brothers W. Allison Davis and John A. Davis.
Allison Davis, a 1924 graduate of Williams College was a notable anthropologist, psychologist, and educator who was the first African American to be named to a tenured professorship at a major predominantly White research university. He was appointed to the faculty at the University of Chicago in 1942.
Allison Davis was the valedictorian at the racially segregated Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C. After graduating from Williams College, he earned a master’s degree at Harvard University and a Ph.D. at the University of Chicago.
John A. Davis graduated from Williams in 1933. He held a master’s degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University. He taught at Howard University in the mid-1930s and later became a full professor at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. In 1953, he was named an associate professor at City College of New York and was eventually promoted to graduate professor of government and chairman of the department of political science at the City University of New York. He was the chief academic adviser to the legal team which argued Brown v. Board of Education before the Supreme Court.