GREENVILLE - Greenville University will formally inaugurate Suzanne Allison Davis as president of the institution in a special ceremony on campus Friday, October 29, 2021. The ceremony is part of a full weekend of Homecoming events October 29-31.

Davis began serving as acting president in May 2020, after then-president Ivan Filby stepped down. University trustees officially named Davis president on January 21, 2021. Safety precautions associated with COVID-19 prompted planners to delay the public celebration until this fall.

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Davis previously served the University as executive vice president, vice president for university relations, dean of its Briner School of Business, and chief legal officer. She holds a master’s in business administration and a juris doctor from the University of Illinois. Davis completed her undergraduate studies at Greenville University with majors in philosophy and political science. Prior to returning to Greenville University in 2012 to teach and serve in administrative roles, Davis practiced law at the Lemna, Moore, and Carroll Law Office and taught at Eastern Illinois University’s School of Business. She also serves on the boards of directors at Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and HSHS Holy Family Hospital in Greenville, Illinois.

In her two years as executive vice president, Davis aided in the University’s successful accreditation effort, leading the financial, operations, and governance portions. Davis led the president’s executive cabinet and managed reorganization of enrollment, marketing, and international affairs at the University. She also oversaw the finance office, financial aid, and athletics departments.

As president, Davis emphasizes empowerment for students and employees. A life mantra from the Proverbs drives her leadership style - “With many advisors, plans succeed” (Proverbs 15:22). She encourages input and decision-making from academic program directors and other leaders across campus. Her enlarged president’s council provides input from the campus community in an effort to make timely, informed decisions.

Davis champions the idea of immersive and real-world learning. She played an instrumental role in implementing Greenville SMART initiatives, a collaboration between university, community, and regional businesses to cultivate economic development and educational opportunities. “Interconnected” is how Davis describes the University’s relationship with the city of Greenville – “Partners committed to growth for the region.”

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The longstanding mission of Greenville University – “To empower students for lives of character and service through a transforming, Christ-centered education,” – ignites in Davis an innovative strategy for the future of the institution. In her tenure as president so far, Davis has broadened academic offerings by investing in a semester-long educational experience called The Contemporary Music Center in Nashville, Tennessee. She has also streamlined budgets, led teams to meet aggressive goals, and fanned a flame for increased entrepreneurship in the downtown square of Greenville.

Davis led the University through a tumultuous 2020. GU became one of the few institutions in the nation that held face-to-face classes during a pandemic and this was accomplished by setting up an on-campus saliva testing lab in partnership with the University of Illinois Systems SHIELD program. Another partnership with St. John’s College of Nursing in Springfield, Illinois, and HSHS Holy Family Hospitals resulted in a four-year nursing program on the campus of Greenville University, which begins in 2022. Davis also seized an opportunity to partner with USA Gymnastics to bring men’s and women’s gymnastics teams to the University, which will also bring a gymnastics facility and programming to the community for children of all ages.

According to W. Richard Stephens, former president of Greenville University, “President Davis has shown deep personal commitments to Christian higher education, and creative solutions to long-standing problems. All with a heart for people!”

Davis grew up in Casey, Illinois, and graduated from Casey-Westfield High School. She and her husband Phil are the parents of two daughters, Tiffany and Brittany, adult twins. When President Davis is not on campus doing the business of the University, or supporting student athletic teams or clubs, she can be found on one of her horses, clearing her industrious mind and enjoying the beauty of Greenville.

The inauguration ceremony for President Suzanne Allison Davis takes place at 2 pm on Friday, October 29, at the Crum Recreation Center on campus. The ceremony includes addresses from guest speaker Rev. David Hawkins, GU’s interim chaplain and pastor of Living the Word Church in Collinsville, Illinois, along with guest speakers, Ed McMillan, owner of McMillan LCC, Malvin Hubbard (GU Class of 2016), senior business and risk consultant at Ernst & Young LLP, and Natilyn Hepburn-Beaty (GU Class of 2019), manager of marketing services at The Recording Industry’s Music Performance Trust Fund. The speakers and inauguration ceremony serve to highlight and reaffirm the University’s goals and President Davis’s vision for the institution and her presidency.

Greenville University will practice standard COVID-19 safety protocols during all Homecoming activities. Click here for a full schedule of Homecoming weekend events.---
Greenville University is an accredited Christian liberal arts university with more than 1,100 students, including traditional undergraduate, graduate, and adult degree completion students. Founded in 1892 and affiliated with the Free Methodist Church, the University is located in Greenville, Illinois, 45 miles east of St. Louis, Missouri. Visit

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