AUBURN – During a ceremony attended by state and local dignitaries, faculty, students, alumni and friends, the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering at Auburn University rededicated its aerospace engineering building this morning in honor of distinguished Auburn alumnus Charles E. “Buddy” Davis. The building, which houses the Department of Aerospace Engineering, will now be called the Charles E. Davis Aerospace Engineering Hall, or simply Davis Hall. Davis and his wife Charlotte recently committed a $4 million gift to the College of Engineering, the third largest individual gift in the history of the college.
“Buddy and Charlotte’s gift is significant because it will enable our Department of Aerospace Engineering to expand its fluid dynamics and advanced simulation lab capabilities, as well as relocate the wind tunnel facilities and expand the unique hardware-in-the-loop simulation program,” said College of Engineering dean Larry Benefield. “This gift will certainly have far-reaching implications for future generations of aerospace engineering students, and in turn, certainly significant developments will be made for the aerospace industry.”
The Davis family has a long standing relationship with Auburn University. Davis is a 1959 Auburn graduate who enjoyed a distinguished career in the aerospace industry. His work with the Thor rocket, the Harpoon missile and the KC-10 aircraft aerial refueling platform played a vital role in the evolution of U.S. defense systems. Davis’s pioneering work in aerospace engineering caused him to take a lead role in the Apollo rocket program, and his design work is still evident in the assembly, transport and launch pad systems used in the space program. Davis’s son Steve is a 1988 Auburn graduate, and sons Brian and Neil are graduates of West Point.
“I feel so honored to represent the thousands of engineering students who have graduated from Auburn who have been an integral part of the space program – from astronauts such as Jim Voss, T.K. Mattingly and Jan Davis, to NASA directors McCartney, Kennedy and Dick Smith, to the CEOs of subcontractors I have worked with – and to the technicians and engineers who made it all work,” said Davis. “To be the one whose name will be on this building on behalf of all of these graduates is a tremendous privilege and an honor for me and my family.”
The Davis family will celebrate along with friends and other supporters of the college at a gala scheduled on Saturday evening hosted by the College of Engineering.
For more information about Davis Hall and the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, visit www.eng.auburn.edu.