Gordon B. Davidson, 1949
When one thinks of Gordon Davidson, certain words
come to mind: Intelligent. Independent. Loyal to his friends.
Successful, in all of its definitions. Devoted to Centre College.
Gordon came to Centre from his hometown of
Louisville. He became a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity and,
as is characteristic of distinguished alumni, earned his bachelor’s
degree in English and history. He went on to earn degrees from both the
University of Louisville and Yale schools of law.
He quickly became an indispensable part of the
business and civic life of Louisville and a leader for his alma mater.
Gordon established himself as one of Louisville’s leading attorneys,
eventually serving as Managing Partner and Chairman of the Executive
Committee of the law firm of Wyatt, Tarrant, and Combs. He also served
on numerous corporate boards, including BellSouth, The Courier-Journal
and Louisville Times Company, and WHAS Broadcasting, among others. He
has also been instrumental in Louisville’s emergence as a leading center
for the arts, serving as chairman of the Kentucky Center for the Arts,
the Greater Louisville Fund for the Arts, and the Louisville Theatrical
Even more distinguished than his work for his
hometown is his wide-ranging service to Centre College. An emeritus
trustee of the College, Gordon has helped to lead every major
fundraising effort in the recent history of Centre, participating in
alumni and admission activities, and provided advice and support to
But of all the reasons for which we can rightly
honor Gordon, one stands out – a reason that, at first blush, might seem
trivial. In the midst of an interview for the video that accompanied
the Front and Centre campaign some years ago, he captured the essence of
a Centre education in one simple phrase when he said that “Centre is
about the guided growth of the individual.” In his words, in his
action, in his character, Gordon embodies the best of the Centre