$5 million gift to renovate Broun Hall honors defense industry pioneer

Published: November 02, 2015
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Dorothy Davidson, chair and CEO of Huntsville's Davidson Technologies, has made a $5 million gift to Auburn University's Samuel Ginn College of Engineering to renovate portions of Broun Hall, the home of electrical engineering. Her gift honors her late husband Julian Davidson, a 1950 Auburn electrical engineering graduate and defense industry pioneer.

"Julian would agree that the renovation of Broun Hall will provide an environment that will inspire the next generation of engineers through spaces that are conducive to study and collaboration," Davidson said.

The Broun Hall renovation will provide students with an improved learning environment by incorporating the latest instructional technologies.

"Mrs. Davidson's gift will do more than just renovate a building – it will remodel parts of the structure to transform the areas most used by students," said Christopher B. Roberts, dean of the College of Engineering. "This will in turn invite collaboration and teamwork, enhancements that appeal to Dorothy as well. Her desire has always been that this generous gift would create the most immediate impact on the student experience at Auburn."

In 1996, the Davidsons co-founded Davidson Technologies, a company providing innovative engineering, technical, and management solutions for our nation's defense and aerospace industries. Their previous giving to Auburn includes funding for scholarships and programs within the College of Engineering, as well as support for acquisitions in the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art. Davidson is a member of the College of Engineering's Ginn Society, as well as Auburn's James E. Foy Loyalty Society and the 1856 Society.

"The Davidsons have been incredible philanthropic partners with Auburn for nearly three decades," said Jane DiFolco Parker, Auburn's vice president for development and president of the Auburn University Foundation. "Their longstanding support has been critically important to the university's accomplishments."

Davidson announced her gift at a recent event in Huntsville related to Because This is Auburn — A Campaign for Auburn University, a $1 billion fundraising effort in support of students, faculty, programs, and facilities. Auburn's goal is to create thousands of new scholarships for students, endow more than 100 new chairs and professorships for educators and researchers, develop programs that will allow the Auburn Family to connect with people everywhere, and build new facilities and reimagine existing campus facilities. For more information, visit because.auburn.edu.

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