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Beloved pro­fessor Charles Davies passed away at 85 External Affairs | Col­legian

Beloved pro­fessor Charles Davies died in West Grove, PA, Christmas morning 2019. He was 85 years old. 

As a Stranahan Pro­fessor of Family Business, Davies started teaching at Hillsdale College in January 1990. He taught at Hillsdale for 21 years until he retired in 2011 when he was granted pro­fessor emeritus status. He was an ordained Methodist min­ister and served in the clergy from 1956 – 69.

Davies was a well-known figure on campus, and to his former co-workers, Davies’ ded­i­cation to his faith was clear. He is remem­bered with love and deep respect by Pro­fessor of History Kenneth Calvert.

When Calvert arrived at Hillsdale in 1996, Davies reached out to him with “encour­agement and kind advice.” 

“I don’t recall ever seeing Charlie in a bad mood,” Calvert said. “His faith was evident as was his desire to see Hillsdale — both the college and the town — prosper.”

Davies’ loyalty and service to the Hillsdale com­munity never went unno­ticed. He formed life-long bonds with stu­dents, keeping in contact with many and even offi­ci­ating the wed­dings of some. 

“Dr. Davies was my favorite pro­fessor. He was a perfect blend of expe­rience, edu­cation, and ethical sin­cerity,” Jacob Mannan ’04 said. “He was a man of his word, which made him easy to trust as a teacher and mentor.” 

Along with the titles of pro­fessor, mentor, and co-worker, Davies earned another title: friend. 

Though Davies expected a lot from his stu­dents, he gave encour­agement and advice in return. Davies set the bar high for his stu­dents, pushed them to explore and dis­cover their niche, and chal­lenged them to live up to steep expec­ta­tions. His classes weren’t “easy A’s,” noted Mannan, but through his per­sonal expe­rience, stu­dents found their passion.

His stu­dents attribute many of their suc­cesses, pro­fes­sionally and per­sonally, to their former pro­fessor. 

Heather Dreben­stedt ’00 noted that Davies was “one of her favorite pro­fessors” and that he was “influ­ential in my career as a mar­keting pro­fes­sional.”

Davies “had a way of bringing the real world into the classroom,” she said. “His lessons ring true to this day.”

Along with his duties as a pro­fessor, mentor, and friend on the Hillsdale campus, Davies also served on the Board of Public Util­ities in Hillsdale. His unique ded­i­cation to serving the com­munity was greatly admired by those who encoun­tered it. 

“Dr. Davies was Hillsdale, through and through,” Calvert said. 

A memorial service will be held to cel­e­brate Davies’ life in April at the Per­rysburg First United Methodist Church. In his honor, the family asks that memo­rials be directed to the Chancel Choir Music Fund at Per­rysburg First United Methodist Church or to Alzheimer’s research.