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AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Crime log: Subject barred after shoplifting at bookstore
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

Campus chaplain and civil rights activist dies at 74

Malcolm Davis, a former campus chaplain known for his devotion to civil rights, died last month at the age of 74. | Photo courtesy of Donna Fletcher

Malcolm Davis, campus chaplain from 1967 to 1984, died last month from complications after a hip replacement operation, the Washington Post reported Saturday. He was 74.

The religious mentor, born in Virginia in 1937, was also active in politics, organizing anti-war and civil rights demonstrations among students and District residents.

“His campus office…was the hangout for civil rights and anti-war activists, where many of us spent most of our non-class time debating, strategizing, laughing, and learning about the issues of the day,” Donna Fletcher, who graduated the University in 1970, said. “His gentle and humor-filled presence was a source of comfort and wisdom during a turbulent time in the nation and on campus.”

Davis earned a mathematics degree from The College of William and Mary in 1959 and five years later graduated from Union Theological Seminary where he received a master of divinity degree, according to the Post.

He was also an avid potter, a hobby that by 1984 became his full-time profession. He was widely praised in the ceramics world for developing a new glaze technique called shino.

“His commitment to social justice was an inspiration to a generation of GWU students,” Fletcher said.

He is survived by his wife Judy Davis.

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