John A. Davis

Message from the President
January 19, 2017

Dear LMU Community:

I am saddened to share with you that John A. Davis, retired associate professor of sociology, died Jan. 13, 2017, after a long illness. He was 82 years old.

Professor Davis founded LMU’s African American Studies Department in 1980, a distinction that was recognized by KCET television, which featured him as an “Unsung Hero of the Year” in 1986. He was chair of the department until he retired in 2006. During his 28-year career here, Professor Davis galvanized our African-American students and faculty. He frequently advised the university on issues involving the African-American community.

Before joining LMU, Professor Davis taught at UCLA, Fresno State, the Claremont Colleges, and USC. In 1970, he founded the Med-COR program – for counseling, organizing, and recruiting – at USC’s School of Medicine, in partnership with LAUSD, to encourage and tutor students of color in entering the health professional fields. The program still provides academic assistance, college guidance, and medical career planning to underserved populations.

Professor Davis earned his Ph.D. in sociology in 1971 at UCLA, his master’s degree in 1965 and his B.A. in 1963, also at UCLA. Professor Davis joined the LMU Sociology Department in 1978. He was tenured in 1983 and promoted to associate professor in 1985.

A service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28, at Holman United Methodist Church, 3320 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90018. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Dr. John A. Davis Memorial Scholarship. Please make checks payable to Loyola Marymount University and send donations to: Alma Vorst, Development Services, Loyola Marymount University, University Hall, Suite 2800, Los Angeles, CA 90045-2659.

Please keep John, his family, and his many friends in your thoughts and prayers.


Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D.