RIP Patricia Elizabeth Davis 75 St Maarten Delaware

RIP Patricia Elizabeth Davis 75 St Maarten Delaware

RIP Patricia Elizabeth Davis 75 St Maarten Delaware


Community remembers IT administrator, campus mentor

Patricia “Pat” Davis, who played a key role at the University of Delaware during the implementation of technology supporting several administrative functions and who was active in the Black Faculty/Staff Coalition, died on May 23, 2022. She was 75.

Ms. Davis joined UD in 1978 and retired as associate director of Information Technologies-Management Information Services (IT-MIS) in 2006. She continued to work at UD after retirement until 2009.

At UD, she supervised the implementation of the first electronic Cashiers input stations, as well as the Library’s NOTIS system, and she served on the supervision team that implemented three major PeopleSoft applications for Human Resources, Finance and Student Life.

In addition, Ms. Davis was a leading force in the Black Faculty/Staff Coalition, which became the University of Delaware African American Coalition. That group examined issues surrounding the hiring and retention of faculty and staff and advocated for the University to drop its investments in companies doing business in apartheid South Africa. She also served as the longtime faculty/staff liaison and mentor to the UD Gospel Choir, Warriors for Christ and Student Bible Study.

In addition, Ms. Davis was a member of the Minority Affairs Board, which in 1987 endorsed a Faculty Senate resolution to add the multicultural requirement to the curriculum.

Her former colleagues shared some of their memories.

“Pat was an exceptionally effective and productive manager who was particularly caring for her staff and her clients,” said Carl Jacobson, retired vice president of information technologies and chief information officer. “She made friends easily and was popular across the campus; no matter the situation she always brought calm to the room. I also remember her strong pride in the members of her wonderful family and all their achievements. She was a joy to have on our team.”

Amy Connell, retired associate vice president for business operations, worked closely with Ms. Davis on many student IT initiatives and on the implementation of PeopleSoft Financials, a huge undertaking. “Pat was a wonderful colleague,” Connell said. “She was very knowledgeable and led by example.  She led many cross-functional teams through IT implementations and tried to listen and include everyone, as appropriate, throughout the project. Pat was the kind of person who always had a smile or kind word for everyone and really listened when she asked how you were doing. She had a gift for making people comfortable. She also could be a task master and help the group to arrive at consensus so they could move forward, when needed. We were all very sorry to say goodbye to her when she retired from the University. The news of her passing is very sad and I extend my deepest sympathy to her friends and family.”

James Green, IT project lead II in Financial Systems, said, “Miss Pat was a popular manager who rose to be an associate director in I.T., supervising an ever widening array of administrative applications…. She impacted many employees and more than a few consultants. Miss Pat enabled many of us to be better and more productive IT professionals and better people.”

Ms. Davis was part of a group of friends on campus who met in the 1980s and called themselves The Circle. Its other members included Carol Rudisell, Crystal Hayman Simms, Gloria James and Jacqueline “Jackie” Caleb.

Jackie Caleb, retired manager of Student Financial Services, spoke at Ms. Davis’ funeral service. In describing her friend’s gift for connecting with people, Caleb said, “She listened, encouraged, instructed, nurtured and loved people. During her time at UD, Pat touched many people, especially students…. Pat shared her light, her love, her knowledge and her Heavenly Father with all who came in her path. She will be greatly missed, but her legacy of love, caring and sharing remains.”

Calling Ms. Davis a “spiritual and foundational rock during a crisis and our cheerleader in moments of celebration,” Crystal Hayman Simms, former coordinator in Employee Relations, said, “She listened, never judged, accepted us where we were while offering solid nuggets of wisdom.”

Carol Rudisell, retired librarian from the University Library, Museums and Press, remembers Ms. Davis as a voice for social justice on campus at a time when it was not popular. “I recall her expressing a concern that UD needed to not only have anti-hate policies, but that the University needed to support those policies with appropriate action. Words alone were not enough, she would say.”

Rudisell added that Ms. Davis was an “exceedingly generous person,” who “opened her home to many people in need, including students. And she was always available to listen and provide sound advice to all who needed it.”

Gloria James, UD alumna and a longtime program host on WVUD radio, said, “Pat was a creative spirit, abundantly giving and generously connected to the soul of humanity.”

Patricia Elizabeth Davis

Born in New York City, she spent her formative years in New York and Delaware. At the age of 13, she moved with her family to California, where she graduated from Centennial High School in Compton, California in 1965. She started her career immediately after graduation with an administrative position at TransAmerica Corporation.  She later relocated to Delaware and began working at Delaware State College (now Delaware State University) before taking a position at UD.

After she retired from the University, she moved to the Caribbean island of St. Maarten, where she was active at the Christian Fellowship Assembly Church. In 2017, she returned to the United States to care for her sister, Michelle, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Her obituary notes that hers was a life of “infectious joy.” As the family matriarch, “her counsel was beyond her years and education. Everywhere she went she gained a new family born out of her love for God and of people.”

To read Ms. Davis’ obituary or share online condolences, visit this Ever Loved site.

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