2003 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Jackson, Williamson, Carmichael, Burton, Dearing, Little, Hyde-Smith, Walden, Gordon, Frazier, Smith, Chaney

Senate Resolution 12

(As Adopted by Senate)


     WHEREAS, Calhoun City native Dr. Thomas Leland Davis, Jr., is known among Mississippi community colleges as the President who brought East Mississippi Community College (EMCC) from the brink of closure to its current status as the fastest growing community college in the state; and

     WHEREAS, Dr. Davis, the eldest of eight children, was born in Prentiss County, Mississippi, on January 5, 1934, to Thomas Leland Davis, Sr., and Eula Bullard Davis.  He lived with his family in the Pleasant Hill Community and graduated from Calhoun City High School in 1952; and

     WHEREAS, Dr. Davis attended East Mississippi Community College in the early 1950's on a football scholarship and graduated with an associate degree.  He later received degrees from Mississippi College, the University of Southern Mississippi and his Doctorate in Educational Administration from Mississippi State University; and

     WHEREAS, Dr. Davis has had many years of leadership in coaching, teaching and administration.  From 1955 to 1976, he experienced highly successful coaching careers at Pachuta High School, Meridian High School, Louisiana College and Northwest High School in Missouri.  His high school teams only had one losing season in 15 years.  He served as Director of Athletics and Head Football Coach at Heidelberg High School, Columbia High School and Holmes Community College.  From 1976 to 1990, Dr. Davis served in the capacities of Director of Continuing Education and Community Services, District Director of Institutional Research and Planning and Vice President for the Goodman Campus at Holmes Community College; and

     WHEREAS, in 1990 Dr. Davis returned to East Mississippi Community College as President and set out to make his goals for his alma mater a reality.  Dr. Davis had the threat of closure removed, changed the financial condition of the college, improved the public image of the college and the morale of its faculty and staff, resumed discontinued programs and activities such as sports and the arts, and improved relations with the State Legislature.  He has also succeeded in fostering a sense of common purpose among the Scooba and Golden Triangle campuses and the extension centers that has resulted in a stronger, more unified college.  Since Dr. Davis became President, the college's enrollment has more than doubled, making East Mississippi Community College the fastest growing community college in the state; and

     WHEREAS, Dr. Davis is the current President of the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges and is a member of many professional organizations involving education.  He serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Southern Association of Community and Technical Colleges, is former President of the Mississippi Association of Community Colleges, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Community Colleges of Appalachia and the prestigious Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.  He is a member of Scooba Baptist Church, an ordained Deacon, a Sunday School teacher and a frequent lay speaker in churches; and

     WHEREAS, Dr. Davis was recently honored by the Mississippi National Guard at Camp Shelby because of his tremendous support of the Armed Forces; and

     WHEREAS, Dr. Davis is an avid hunter, fisherman and student of the War Between the States; he is married to Rita Chatham Davis and they have two sons, Thomas L. Davis III and Jonathan E. Davis; and

     WHEREAS, it is with great pride that we recognize the service of this dedicated alumnus and leader of East Mississippi Community College, who has brought honor to his college, his community and to the State of Mississippi:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby commend and congratulate Dr. Thomas L. Davis, Jr., longtime President of East Mississippi Community College, and extend to him and his family the greetings and thanks of the Legislature for his service.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Dr. Davis and his family, the Board of Trustees of East Mississippi Community College, and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.