Dr. Lowell E. Davis served as dean during an important phase of USF St. Petersburg's history. He arrived in August 1986 and promptly set into motion an agenda that supported the expansion of course offerings and academic majors at USF St. Petersburg. Davis took a strong position in advocating greater autonomy and independence for the growing campus at a time when many Tampa-based administrators hoped to limit curricular initiatives at the University's "branch" campuses. His untimely death in the fall of 1989 slowed the process but did not extinguish the dreams of greater autonomy. Subsequent administrators at USF St. Petersburg have benefited from the university and community leadership that defined Lowell Davis's tenure as dean. Pearl Williamson, a longtime staff member who worked closely with Dr. Davis, provided the Poynter Library with a notebook containing a representative collection of his speeches at USF St. Petersburg, other academic institutions, and various organizations. He offered these speeches as the part of his outreach during his tenure as USFSP's Dean.
Nelson Poynter Memorial Library. Special Collections and University Archives.; Schnur, James Anthony; and Reynolds, Shawn, "Speeches of Lowell E. Davis, Dean of USF St. Petersburg, 1986 - 1989 : A Collection Guide" (2007). Special Collections and University Archives Finding Aids: All Items. 20.
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