Prof profiles: Tom Davis

Professor of math Thomas F. Davis has been true to Texas and Sam Houston State University throughout his entire career.

Davis was born in Belmont, Texas on Feb. 6, 1936. He was the only child of Thomas Franklin Davis, Sr. and Mary Davis.

When he was eight years old the family moved into his grandmother’s house in Colmesneil, a small farm located in east Texas. His father was ill with tuberculoses and spent most of the time living in hospitals. He died when Davis was 10 years old.

“I am absolutely 100 percent Texan,” Davis said. “I grew up on a farm and attended a high school that was 10 miles from where I lived.”

Davis said that immediately after graduation he started college at our very own Sam Houston State University.

“I graduated on a Friday and was already starting college that next Monday,” Davis said.

Davis said his plan was to enroll in summer school then join the United States Army in order to pay for school. His family was economically unstable and he had no other way to pay for his studies.

“I ended up not having to go to the army,” he said. “I tried out for the Sam football team and received a four year fully paid scholarship.”

During his college years at SHSU Davis continued to be loyal to football and was also the vice president of the Student Government Association his junior year.

Davis said during the four years he played, the SHSU football team managed to become the only undefeated and untied team Sam Houston has ever had.

After four years and a summer session of university studies, Davis graduated with a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in math and a minor in physics.

Following graduation, Davis taught math at SHSU for two years and also coached football.

Davis would later decide to continue his education. He attended Rice University for two years then transferred to the University of Texas where he received his doctorate in math.

He then returned to SHSU to continue his teaching and remained close to the Athletic Department by becoming a member of the Faculty Athletic Representative. As a member, Davis is responsible for being a representative for the NCAA and the Athletics Certification Committee, which review and determines what schools are eligible for athletic certification.

“Athletics has always been a big part of my life and I like to see other people do the same and succeed,” Davis said. “It’s a big part of the college experience.”

Davis now arrives at school at 7:15 a.m. everyday ready to teach math to a new generation. He said he usually remains on campus until 5 p.m. He said his many years at SHSU have given him the opportunity to teach all types of math offered at the university.

“I have taught everything there is to teach in the math department,” Davis said. “I have been teaching for a long time. I think I am probably the professor on campus that has been here the longest.”

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