Donald R. Davis Scholarship Endowment for Undergraduate Excellence


This endowed scholarship is to support undergraduate students in good academic standing within the Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences who have financial need.


This endowed scholarship fund was established by the estate of Donald Ross Davis to reflect Don's nearly 40 years of service to the students of the Hydrology and Water Resources Department at the University of Arizona.  

Don obtained his PhD in Systems Engineering in 1969 and was hired as an Assistant Professor in Hydrology at UArizona one year later. Don's research career focused on the use of Bayesian techniques to best reflect our state of knowledge about hydrological processes in surface and subsurface hydrology.  

Generations of graduate and undergraduate alumni of the department have Don to thank for their deep sense of the meaning of a "random variable" and how that influences the questions we can answer in hydrologic science and application. In his later years, Don's research career focused primarily on helping graduate students use statistical methods in their research. 

Don's bequest was made possible by his scrupulous frugality. He walked the talk and lived in the same studio apartment for 40 years, raising his own rent payments whenever he received a pay raise from the University. Don never owned a house because he felt the venture would be too risky, as a house can only exist in one place. Instead, he invested his surplus income in a diversified range of stocks and bonds through an investment club in which he participated.

Beyond hydrology, Don loved trains, playing bridge, sailing, and doting on his nieces and nephews.