Walker M. Davis
Walker Milan Davis (December 14, 1908–March 1960) was an African American student at Iowa State College. He went on to become a professor at Alcorn A&M College and at Rust College and, ultimately, became the President of Okolona College.
Life and Education
Walker M. Davis was born to George Milan and Leaner Johnson Davis on December 14, 1908 in Okolona, Mississippi which is a part of Monroe County. He was raised in Jonestown, Mississippi. He graduated from Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College with a B.S. in Agriculture in 1932. He went on to receive a M.S. in Economics and Sociology from Iowa State College in 1933. He spent a semester at Fisk University working in the Social Science department. He also spent a semester working at Tuskegee Institute.
From 1933-1940, he served as Dean and Registrar of Okolona College for Negroes. He was a guest/visiting professor of Sociology at Alcorn A&M College in 1935 and at Rust College in 1938. He also served as the Dean and Business Manager of Ministerial Institute and College at West Point from 1942-1943.
In 1943, he assumed the role of President of Okolona College. During his administration at Okolona, the budget grew from $16,000 to $150,000, the student body more than doubled, and the school became fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. He was also the president of the Mississippi Teachers Association for Negroes.
In 1952, he was the deputy delegate to the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Boston. In a 1955 meeting in Honolulu, he spoke for the Department of Domestic Missions representing the Negroes of America.
He is known for his work with black youth assisting them in securing education. He coordinated organizations and initiated fund campaigns to support that effort. Davis authored several books including "Pushing Forward: A History of Alcorn A&M College", "Okolona, Mississippi: The Okolona Industrial School" and "Negro Education on the Move in Mississippi" as well as contributed to numerous publications. He received the Who's Who in Colored America Award.
Walker Davis was Episcopalian. He was also a Mason and a member of numerous national educational organizations.
He suffered from a heart condition but he died unexpectedly in his home on Okolona's campus.
- Mississippi Civil Rights Project
- Mississippi State University Libraries | Mississippi's African American Authors
- Lives of Mississippi Authors, 1817-1967