Davis Hall History

Opened: 1961

Susan B. Davis

1878 - 1952

Born in Milton, WI, Susan B. Davis received a B.A. from Milton College and an M.A. in speech from Northwestern University. She studied further at Harvard and the University of Chicago prior to her transition to the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she began her role as instructor in Speech during the 1924 summer term.

Davis served as Hostess at Barnard Hall from 1925 to 1926 at which time she was appointed lecturer in Speech and Assistant to the Dean of Women. From 1927 to 1941 Davis served as Dean of First-year women, and following a brief retirement fulfilled a role as Educational Counselor at the Truax housing project where she applied herself diligently to the task of brightening the lives of returning veterans from WWII and their families.

It was Davis’s belief that a better world comes through understanding and participation in community activities that fueled her organizational work in politics and love of public speaking. Davis supported the work of the Madison League of Women Voters, was a member of the National Education Association, an honorary member of Phi Beta professional speech sorority, and a former regent of D.A.R. Additionally, Davis distinguished herself by writing historical sketches and studies of Wisconsin, including Old Forts and Real Folks, Wisconsin Lore for Boys and Girls, and Our Wisconsin, a Pageant.

Given her name, this community commemorates a woman who deeply valued the pursuit of knowledge and the utilization of that knowledge to bring others together in support of the common good.

History of University Housing