Dr. Alvie Davis will retire at the end of the semester after more than 50 years of teaching in the chemistry and biochemistry department.
During his time at ACU, Davis, professor emeritus of chemistry, said he has taught almost every class and taught all but one professor in the department.
One such professor is Dr. Greg Powell, professor of chemistry and biochemistry. Powell has known Davis since the fall of 1976 when Powell enrolled in Davis’ General Chemistry class.
“I fell asleep one day in his class, and he made a joke about it, and we’ve laughed about it ever since,” Powell said.
Powell has worked with Davis for the past 24 years and said Davis has kept up with the quickly changing field of biochemistry.
“He is a steady, consistent presence in our department,” Powell said. “He is just a really kind man and extremely knowledgeable.”
Davis said he would miss the people at ACU most.
“Over the years, I’ve worked with a great set of people, from administrators on down,” Davis said. “I’ve served under four presidents, and I believe each person was the best person for that position at that time.”
Powell said Davis loved students, and his compassion and kindness were easy to detect.
Technically, this is Davis’ second retirement. He officially retired in 2001 after 42 years of service, but he knew the department needed an additional professor, so he taught every spring, fall and summer since, although he didn’t always have a full courseload.
ACU received American Chemical Society approval in 1971 after working toward it for 10 years. This was one of Davis’ most memorable experiences from his time at ACU, because he said it was a boost for the department that hasn’t yet faded. The approval helps students advance to top-notch graduate schools and receive job offers from good companies.
Powell said Davis has an incredible memory and a good sense of humor.
“You can always count on him being upbeat and having a smile, and he kind of brightens your day,” Powell said. “I’m going to miss that.”
Davis said he plans to spend his retirement visiting family and working with church events, not just sitting in front of the TV. He also said the department will let him keep his office, so he will still come to campus occasionally.
“I really would not want to be anywhere else,” Davis said. “It doesn’t seem like it has just been 50 years.”