WCU Dedicates Davis Hall

Hattiesburg, Miss., August 23, 2013 - William Carey University hosted a Dedication Ceremony for Davis Hall, the newest women’s resident facility on the Hattiesburg campus, on August 22. The residence hall is named for Ralph and Cora Joyce Davis, alumni of Mississippi Woman’s College (WCU’s predecessor). Located directly behind Byrd Hall on the south end of campus, Davis Hall accommodates nearly 100 women to relieve the school’s housing crunch.

The Davises were the first missionary couple to represent the institution. They served as missionaries to Nigeria for 20 years, and during the civil war in Nigeria, they escaped and served for another 15 years in Ghana.  During their time at MWC, Cora Joyce served as the campus nurse in the Mary Ross Infirmary, where she and Ralph lived, and Ralph was the night watchman for the college. He was the first male to graduate from MWC in 1949. Their children, Nan and David, are also graduates of William Carey University. Ralph passed away in 2012 at the age of 91, and Cora Joyce, who attended the dedication, will soon celebrate her 90th birthday.

During the ceremony Dr. Tommy King, president of WCU, called Davis Hall “an important step in the growth of William Carey University.” Dr. King  updated guests about the growing need for more residential housing on Carey’s campus due to a growth in enrollment, and thanked those who helped make Davis Hall a reality in record time.
Hannah Cook-Kelley, a Business Administration major and Davis Hall resident from Phoenix, Ariz., gave the prayer of thanksgiving. Dr. Jerry Rankin, president emeritus of the International Mission Board and a WCU trustee, followed with a testimony of the impact the couple’s mission efforts. Dr. David C. Davis, associate professor of history and associate dean of Arts and Letters at Millsaps College, responded on behalf of the Davis family. The ceremony concluded with a prayer of dedication by Dr. Scott Hummel, provost.
The building cost approximately $4 million to build and the funds came from support by the Mississippi Baptist Convention, private donors and careful management of existing funds.

(left to right) Cora Joyce Davis thanks everyone for coming to the Dedication Ceremony for Davis Hall, named in honor of her and her late husband Ralph, as William Carey University President Dr. Tommy King looks on. Ralph and Cora Joyce were the first missionary couple to represent Mississippi Woman’s College (WCU’s predecessor).