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Alfred L. Davis papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITArc-0239

Scope and Contents

The Alfred L. Davis papers cover his start in 1938 at RIT, to his retirement in 1986, and his continued service to the University and the Rochester community. The earliest records regard his initial employment as a teacher in the General Education department in 1938. Other RIT related records include documentation of the campus move to Henrietta in 1968, enrollment figures, endowments, scholarships, materials from his time as a member of the Board of Trustees, and photographs of RIT places and people.

While at Bausch and Lomb in the early 1940s, he spent five years as president of the Rochester Society for Quality Control and was a founding member of the American Society of Quality Control.

 There is a small amount of material documenting these pursuits.

The papers also include Davis' community service with the Rochester Chamber of Commerce, Hillside Children's Center, Rotary Club, and the establishment of Margaret's House, a childcare center at RIT. Davis created Margaret's House in memory of his second wife, Margaret Welcher Davis.


  • 1938-2006

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Alfred Davis began his career at RIT in 1938, teaching in the General Education Department. His tenure at the Institute lasted seventy years, with the exception of 1941 to 1945, when Davis left to work for Bausch and Lomb. His posts at RIT included: associate director of the evening division, director of public relations for the institute, vice president for development and public relations, and administrative secretary to RIT’s Board of Trustees. Davis also played a key role in raising the necessary funds to move the campus from downtown Rochester to Henrietta. Because of his service and significant contributions to the Institute, Davis was known as "Mr. RIT."

Davis was awarded many honors throughout his career for his outstanding service. In 1977, RIT Trustee Brackett H. Clark and his wife Ruth gifted $150,000 to RIT to establish the Alfred L. and Ruby C. Davis Scholarship fund. He also was awarded the Nathaniel Rochester Society award in 1988 and the RIT Alumni Award in 1995.

Although Davis retired in 1986, he still maintained an active presence on campus and in service to the Institute community. Al Davis died in May 2008 at the age of 92.


9 Linear Feet (1 Document box, 3 File boxes, 4 Oversize lid boxes)




The Alfred L. Davis papers contain correspondence, photographs, awards, and clippings. Materials mainly document his seventy year career with Rochester Institute of Technology, including his posts as vice president for development and public relations, and administrative secretary to RIT’s Board of Trustees.


Collection materials are arranged by subject.

Physical Location

C.S. South, Shelf 365-367

Other Finding Aids

In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the RIT Archive Collections.

Al Davis papers

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Amy Vilz in August 2011.
Alfred L. Davis papers
RIT Archives
Amy Vilz
17 August 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archive Collections Repository

RIT Libraries
Wallace Center
90 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester NY 14623 USA
(585) 475-4613