Edgar G. Davis ’53, an emeritus trustee of the College since 1987, has died in his hometown of Indianapolis at the age of eighty-three. A retired executive of Eli Lilly and Company, he served Kenyon as an alumni trustee from 1970 to 1977 and as a trustee-at-large from 1978 to 1987.
Ed majored in political science and was a member of the Collegian staff and Beta Theta Pi. He earned an M.B.A. from Harvard in 1955.
Ed served in the U.S. Navy, stationed in Hawaii, for three years before returning to Indianapolis in 1958 to accept a position with Eli Lilly and Company. There, he rose from financial analyst to vice president for corporate and government affairs.
Ed’s contributions to the pharmaceutical industry included service as a delegate to several U.N. Economic Development Conferences and to the World Health Organization in Geneva. In recognition of his efforts to advance collaboration among the industry, government agencies and non-governmental organizations, he was elected to membership in the National Academies of Sciences Institute of Medicine.
Following his retirement in 1991, Ed held several academic appointments. He was a fellow at the Center for Business and Government at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he conducted research, seminars and conferences on pharmaceutical industry economics and public policy. He also was a visiting scholar at Oxford’s Green College, where he conducted research on the challenges of establishing the European Union’s Medical Evaluation Agency. Closer to home, he served as an adjunct professor at Butler University.
“Ed was an enlightened Kenyon man,” recalled Douglas L. Givens, the College’s former vice president for development. “I met him in 1973, when Kenyon was still in the throes of working through its decision to become a coeducational institution. Ed was an able alumni leader, with skills in diplomacy that were of tremendous importance to the College. He was the epitome of a dedicated volunteer.”
Ed was awarded the Gregg Cup, Kenyon’s highest alumni honor, for his extensive volunteer work for the College. Ed also was involved with numerous charitable and civic groups in Indiana, including the Indiana Historical Society (trustee), Indiana Repertory Theatre (former chairman), Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (trustee), National Fund for Medical Education (chairman emeritus), and Nature Conservancy of Indiana (trustee).
Ed was preceded in death by his first wife, Margaret Alandt Davis.
Ed was survived by his wife, Joanne Warvel Davis; two daughters, Anne-Elizabeth Davis and Amy Alandt Davis; a son, Edgar G. Davis Jr.; three grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at the St. Augustine Home for the Aged, located at 2345 West 86th St. in Indianapolis, at 11 a.m. on Aug. 29. A memorial service at Kenyon’s Church of the Holy Spirit will be scheduled for a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Wheeler Mission, 205 East New York St., Indianapolis, Indiana 46204, or to the Little Sisters of the Poor, 2345 West 86th St., Indianapolis, Indiana 46260.