Davis named recipient of 2018 Eric A. Walker Award

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Brian Davis, majoring in African-American studies in the College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State, has been named the 2018 recipient of the Eric A. Walker Award.

The award is presented annually to the student who has contributed most to enhancing the reputation of the University through extracurricular activities. Walker was president of Penn State from 1956 to 1970.

Nominees said Davis has completed a multitude of accomplishments at Penn State and he continues to expand his already impressive resume of academics and social outreach. His accomplishments include:

  • Organizing an initiative to collect and deliver $2,000 in donations and 5,000 bottles of water to undocumented families, churches and food banks in Flint, Michigan;
  • Creating, writing and seeking funds to publish the Penn State Treasure, which began as a guide to multicultural resources on campus but evolved into an annual publication for first-year and change-of-campus students;
  • Meeting weekly with Penn State President Eric Barron and Vice Provost for Educational Equity Marcus A. Whitehurst to establish diversity and inclusion initiatives, including the LGBTQA community and all ethnic and religious groups;
  • Completing five study abroad programs in Haiti, Cuba, Amsterdam, Australia and Curacao.
  • Serving as the evening celebration director of Penn State's MLK Jr commemoration; and
  • Speaking at mentoring events in his hometown of Philadelphia, educating urban youth on applying to college in securing financial aid.

“Getting to know Brian has been like watching a snowball gather steam and grow in size as it barrels down the mountainside,” a nominator said. “With every recognition, experience, and civic activity, he becomes more committed to making a difference wherever he goes. Armed with his conviction, Brian researches, helps and speaks for those who suffer social injustices. Brian is an exemplary Penn State undergraduate who is committed to serving his brothers and sisters at Penn State and beyond.”

Davis also gave a TEDxPSU talk, titled “Dismantling Contemporary Police Brutality Through the Lens of Basketball.”

“Through the process of helping to organizing this talk, I have discovered firsthand how passionate Brian is about his message and the amount of work he is dedicated to crafting a talk that inspires and motivates others to take action for the greater good of our society,” a nominator said.

Last Updated April 11, 2018