In Memory of Brad Davis
Brad graduated from Buxton in 1963, and then went on to earn his undergraduate degree at Williams College. He returned to teach at Buxton with his wife, Beth, after earning his master’s degree at Brown University. Brad and Beth had four children whom they raised in the old “chicken coop”: Graeme, Hilary, Andrea, and Elizabeth. All attended Buxton—which was the Davis family’s school for three generations (Brad’s father chaired the Board, his mother taught Biology, and his two sisters also were Buxton graduates.) From the early ‘70s until 2011, Brad taught history and social-studies courses that his former students talk about to this day: Human Rights, World War I, Anthropology, AmHist (as it was always called) and the famous “AES,” or Advanced European Studies—and more. Brad was one of those rare teachers who was always coming up with new ways to share what he loved with his students—different books to read, different lenses through which to look (at history, at war, at art, at humanity), and different arguments to have with students — something he did with regularity and gusto.
While Brad’s dedication to Buxton took place inside his innovative classroom from the beginning of his career to his last days as a faculty member, it didn’t end there. He played with the orchestra, sang in the chorus, led legendary trip groups and even more legendary trips to Paris. He served as Director of Admissions and a member of the Administrative Committee for several years, and as associate director for many more. He mentored young teachers and helped keep faculty meeting lively, irreverent, and focused where it should be: on students. Brad was always accessible to students, and stayed accessible when they became alumni.
For many Buxton graduates, Brad is synonymous with Buxton. His loss leaves a hole that will never quite be filled, and that’s as it should be. We are grateful for everything Brad did for and meant to Buxton, and we strive to continue his legacy of engaged and inspiring teaching, living, and learning for generations to come.