UVM student center to be named after late Dudley DavisThe University of Vermont’s new student center, scheduled for ground breaking next Spring, will be named after the late Dudley H Davis, thanks to a generous multi-million dollar gift from his family. Davis died November 29th, shortly after the dedication was announced.The $70 million Dudley H Davis Center, approved in September by the university’s Board of Trustees, is the largest and most ambitious building project in the university’s history and key to the success of the institution’s 10-year growth and pursuit of academic excellence strategy.The gift comes in the form of a major challenge to friends and corporations from Mr. Davis’ family. Once fully subscribed, this will provide the requisite $7 million to name the student center and the attached theater in honor of Dudley H. Davis. To date, $6 million has already been raised.Davis is a 1943 graduate of UVM and former president and chief executive officer of The Merchants Bank, a local institution founded in Burlington in 1849. Challenging projects like Wake Robin, the Sheraton Hotel, and others were achieved in large part by Davis unique ability to get things done.His vision provided start up funding for notable Vermont companies including IDX, Ben and Jerrys and others. He was a leader in the development of affordable housing throughout the state of Vermont and through his leadership at the Merchants Bank provided countless Vermonters the opportunity to own their own home or business.Davis is especially interested in young people. His work with the Merchants Bank scholarship fund assisted thousands of Vermont students with financial aid for many years. He is especially adept at helping young students and professionals realize their financial goals.Davis has spent all of his 83 years in Chittenden County with the exception of serving America in World War II in the Pacific and Japan. His involvement in the community and with the University has been life-long.He, his wife Phiddy (class of ’45) and three of their four children attended the University of Vermont.We are very grateful for the generosity and vision of Chuck and Marna Davis and the entire Davis family and friends of Dudley Davis, who together are making it possible to designate the University of Vermont’s new student union as the Dudley H. Davis Center, said President Daniel Mark Fogel. The Davis Center will transform the fabric of the campus community and will greatly enrich the intellectual and cultural life of the surrounding community. We are deeply moved that this facility, a keystone of the vision for UVM, will be named in honor of Dudley Davis, an alumnus in whom the university takes great pride for what he has done in his life and work to build community resources throughout Vermont and especially in the greater Burlington area.Designers knew the location of the new student center would be critical — envisioned as a figurative crossroads of campus, it had to be a literal one, as well. Their solution promises to dramatically improve two aesthetic negatives of the UVM campus — the culvert-like pedestrian tunnel under Main Street and the University’s lack of a ‘front door’ on Main, the main travel corridor into Burlington. The center will stretch along Main, roughly in the area between Morrill and Terrill halls. (Carrigan Hall will be deconstructed.) The pedestrian tunnel will be reworked and integrated into the project, a strong link between the residential and main campus that will draw thousands of students into the building on their daily travels.Pending permitting, the University will break ground on the project next Spring with a projected opening date of Fall 2007.