Charles W. DavidsonCharles W. Davidson

Civic Leader/Philanthropist

San José State University

The innovative spirit, civic mindedness and dedication to community demonstrated by Charles W. Davidson across the past six decades has had a tremendous impact on both San José State University and the Bay Area as a whole. His commitment to the university and his philanthropic spirit exemplify the ideals of the California State University and San José State University.

Mr. Davidson is a true self-made man and model citizen. A native of Oklahoma, he came to California in 1952 and has been a resident of San José ever since. Attending classes at San José State by day and working in the railroad yards by night, Mr. Davidson graduated with a degree in civil engineering in 1957. After several years working for the city he struck out on his own, eventually founding multiple companies and becoming one of the largest and most successful real estate developers in the Bay Area.

Throughout his rapid professional growth, Mr. Davidson always kept his personal and business ethics at the forefront of his work. With a great concern for low-income families and the elderly, he has done much to provide affordable housing and considers the development of early-subsidized housing units among his proudest achievements. Mr. Davidson also has a passion for politics. In the mid-1960s, he served as principal author of the San José City Charter, forever influencing local civic policy. In addition to innumerable civic and economic contributions to the community spanning six decades, Mr. Davidson is also the founder of the Davidson Family Foundation and the Tower Foundation, SJSU's auxiliary philanthropic organization. Through their support of education, the arts, social and human services and medical research activities, Mr. Davidson and his wife, Anita, have had great impact on San José State and Silicon Valley as a whole.

With his many charitable activities, as well as his longstanding support of the university, Mr. Davidson epitomizes Spartan pride. In recognition of his accomplishments and dedication, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and San José State University are proud to confer upon Charles W. Davidson the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.