University of Vermont

Alumni Gift Names Davis Ballroom in UVM Alumni House

Photo: UVM Alumni House
Davis Ballroom will occupy the top floor of UVM Alumni House at 61 Summit Street in Burlington. (Photo: Sally McCay)

A half-million-dollar gift to support the Alumni House project at the University of Vermont is giving a name to a room with one of the best lake views in town.

Davis Ballroom will be named in recognition of a gift from alumnus William Davis ’71 and his father Robert Davis ’41 toward renovating the historic Queen Anne home at 61 Summit Street in Burlington, Vt., that will become the university’s Alumni House.

The third-floor ballroom in the stately old home commands a sweeping view of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks. It was once the setting for the social gatherings of Burlington’s most prominent citizens and will host a variety of alumni and other campus functions when renovations are complete.

“We’re excited to support the University and do it in a way that has some meaning to our family,” said Bill Davis. He and his father were both members of the Delta Psi Fraternity, which owned the home from 1924 until it was acquired by the university in 2007 as the future Alumni House.

“All of us who have been a part of Delta Psi and are supporting this project feel very good about the fact that we’re able to help UVM bring the house back to its original grandeur and that the university has made the commitment to maintain it over time,” Davis said.

Davis family roots run deep at UVM. In all, four generations of the Davis family are represented among the UVM alumni community including Bill ’71 and his father Bob ’41, daughter Heather ‘05, sister Laurie Davis Callahan ’75, and grandparents Max Davison ’24 and Priscilla Rose Davison ’23. Other Davis family members among the UVM alumni are cousin Jeff Davis ’76, uncles Ralph ’29 and Donald Davis ’36, and aunts Elizabeth Davison Post ’51, Patricia Davison McDonald ’52, Rhoda Davison Rochat ’53, and Amanda Davison Parker ’59.

“This house has so many fond memories embedded in it for UVM alums over the years, it’s fitting that a multi- generation UVM alumni and Delta Psi family should give their name to one of its signature spaces,” said Ted Madden, president of the University of Vermont Alumni Association. “We are very grateful to Bill and Bob Davis for their generosity, and we couldn’t be more excited at the prospect of celebrating their gift when the Davis Ballroom is ready to host its next big event.”

Work is under way to stabilize the windows and exterior on the house prior to the onset of winter. A total of $2.2 million has been raised for the $13.5 million project to date.