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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Provost Davis hosts his final commencement

    George Davis
    George Davis

    For many students and faculty, commencement ceremonies are a celebration of accomplishments. For Provost George Davis, who will host his last commencement ceremony this week, the event comes with mixed feelings.

    “”I love commencements, given that the fact that in so many ways it is a culmination and a reminder of what it is all about,”” said Davis, who is stepping down from his post this summer after seven years. “”It certainly is bittersweet.””

    Because the provost traditionally serves as the host for part of the event, Davis said his role in this ceremony will be to create an ideal environment.

    “”My role is to emcee the first half and try to create a situation that’s as warm and friendly as possible,”” he said.

    Looking back, Davis said one of his favorite parts of the commencement ceremony is when cabinet members and members of the academic council gather and have a chance to meet honorary candidates.

    “”That’s been a real honor,”” he said.

    Eugene Sander, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, will step in to officially serve as the interim provost beginning July 1.

    “”He’ll do a great job,”” Davis said.

    Sander has attended every commencement ceremony over the past 19 years, with the exception of one when he was recovering from surgery, and the events are familiar territory. He said the thought of taking over as host is not as daunting as it could be.

    “”I’ve had a chance to see it done up close and personal, so I’ll be able to handle it,”” Sander said. “”But I’ll be watching George. He’s a good friend and a colleague that I will miss badly.””

    To celebrate Davis’s service to the UA, President Robert Shelton said there will be at least two farewell parties thrown in his honor, one that is campus-wide and another held at Shelton’s house for Davis’ close friends and coworkers.

    “”George is really an outstanding person,”” Shelton said. “”I’ve known him since we were provosts together and his integrity is just magnificent. I will miss being able to meet with him and share ideas.””

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