It is clear that Dr. George M. Davis personified what we strive to achieve here at his namesake school: Scholarship, Citizenship and Character Excellence. Our delving into the New Rochelle Historical Society’s archives confirms this. Dr. Davis was born in 1895 right here in New Rochelle, was a class of 1914 New Rochelle High School graduate, and was the first NRHS alumnus to serve on the Board of Education- serving for 30 years! In a very politically charged election during1931, he ran for President of the Board of Education and he won! Dr. Davis ran as the only non-partisan candidate, doing so based solely on the immense sense of duty he felt to improving educational opportunities for the children of New Rochelle. He then held this esteemed position for 14 years.
George M. Davis was admired by so many in so many communities: He was given an honorary Doctorate of Law degree from a New Haven college, a Civics award by the New Rochelle Elks Club and was even voted ‘New Rochelle’s Top Citizen’ by the Mayor of New Rochelle. In 1952, during a cocktail party, the then President of the Board of Ed, Mr. Weiss surprised Davis by presenting him with a Key to the new school in the North End of New Rochelle which would soon bear his name. Davis himself was flabbergasted and absolutely thrilled at this gesture!
Davis, upon receiving one of his numerous awards, said ‘it has come to be my philosophy that every citizen owes something, himself, to the community in which he lives’. “I was born here”, he said, “was schooled here, met my wife here and now my daughter is a product of the New Rochelle school system.” “I love this community and will never be able to repay the people here in full; I am only working down my debt through my undying service to you all.”
At the age of 62, Davis achieved a life long goal of becoming ordained a priest and served at Trinity Episcopal Church. He was given special permission to continue in his long standing family business – The Davis Funeral Home – at the same time as he carried out his new role. George M. Davis passed away in 1973 at the age of 78 and left an immeasurable, permanent mark upon our community. Our goals to this day are derived from his legacy and serve as ongoing inspiration for generations to come.