Former law dean Davis endows leadership scholarship

Law - Norman Adrian Wiggins & Leary Davis

RALEIGH – Founding Campbell Law Dean F. Leary Davis, Jr. and his wife Joy have given and pledged $150,000 to endow a competitive scholarship. The gift renames and endows a full-tuition award now known as the Leary & Joy Davis Leadership Scholarship.

The Leary & Joy Davis Leadership Scholarship is one of four full-tuition scholarships annually awarded by Campbell Law. The others include the Cheshire Schneider Advocacy Scholarship, the Janette Soles Nelson Public Service Scholarship and the Ben & Patrice Thompson Achievement Scholarship.

“As the founding dean, Leary set the mission and course for the law school that we still follow today,” said Campbell Law Dean J. Rich Leonard.

In keeping with Campbell Law’s mission to educate graduates who will become effective advocates and leaders for legal and social justice, both in their local communities and in other parts of the world, the Leary & Joy Davis Leadership Scholarship will be annually awarded to one highly-qualified applicant with demonstrated leadership skills and the potential to become a leader in the law. Leaders in law and policy make decisions that impact thousands of individuals. Society’s need for leaders with vision, values, and technical competence has never been greater.

The Leary & Joy Davis Leadership Scholarship is a full-tuition scholarship renewable in each of the three years the scholar attends Campbell Law, so long as they remain in good academic standing. This scholarship requires a separate application.

“Dean Leonard and Campbell are to be commended for their initiative and thoughtfulness in establishing the advocacy, public service, achievement and leadership scholarships,” said Davis. “Joy and I are pleased that we can help establish the one in which we are most interested, and we hope it will help make Campbell a national leader in the emerging national law and leadership movement.”

Davis has long been a pioneer in leadership development. In addition to consulting broadly on strategic and leadership issues, he taught military leadership as a tactical officer at the North Carolina National Guard’s officer candidate school in the 1960s, what is believed to be the nation’s first law school law and leadership course at Campbell in the 1980s, and major segments of a three week leadership course for Karamah: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights, in 2009 and 2010. He has twice been in residence at the Colorado Springs branch of the Center for Creative Leadership, as visiting scholar in 1993 and as visiting senior legal fellow in 2009.

Davis served as the founding dean of Campbell Law in Buies Creek from 1975-86, stepping away from private practice to help former Campbell University President and institution namesake Norman Adrian Wiggins build the law school. Immensely active in national, statewide and local bar and professional organizations, Davis has contributed to research on the legal profession and higher education, and has taken part in countless civic projects. He has served on the Governor’s Commission on the Future of North Carolina, the North Carolina Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, and was a founding member of the North Carolina Bar Association’s BarCARES Program. In 2009 he became the 32nd recipient in 50 years of the Association’s highest honor, the Judge John J. Parker Award.

Davis also served as the founding dean of the law school at Elon University beginning in 2005.