Mrs. Ivanetta Hughes Davis, alumna and former first lady of Tennessee State University passed away on January 14, 2013. Mrs. Davis, a centenarian, was the Centennial Grand Marshal of TSU’s 2012 homecoming parade.
Ivanerta Hughes Davis was born in French Lick, Indiana to George Luster Hughes and Alice Virginia Taylor Hughes. Mrs. Davis was married to the late Dr. Walter Strother Davis, who was the president of Tennessee Stare University from 1943-1968.
Mrs. Davis received her Bachelor of Science degree from Tennessee State University and her Master of Science degree from Cornell University. She also received a two-year teacher’s diploma from Wilberforce University and continued further studies at the University of Tennessee.
Early in her career, Mrs. Davis served as a reacher in the French Lick and Nashville Public School Systems. She also was the teacher-principal at Clifton Elementary School.
Most of her professional service, however, was as principal at Moses McKissack Elementary School. It was during her term as principal that McKissack was recognized as the first elementary school in the state of Tennessee to be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). This distinction led SACS to appoint Mrs. Davis to represent the stare of Tennessee on its prestigious School Committee. In 1992, SACS honored Mrs. Davis with its Distinguished Achievement Award.
Mrs. Davis was an active member of First Baptist Church Capitol Hill and was involved in various social organizations, including the Nashville Chapter of the Links, Inc. (charter member); National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc.. Metropolitan Nashville Chapter (charter member); Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Alpha Delta Omega Chapter (president, 1946-1948); American Association of University Women; and various bridge clubs.
She has served on several boards and committees, including the Tennessee Department of Correction (first African-American appointment); Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County E-911 Board; Tennessee Agri-Industry Board; John W. Work HI Memorial Foundation; Alpha Delta Omega Foundation; and Meharry-Hubbard Advisory Committee.
A life member of the National Education Association, the Tennessee State University Alumni Association, and the NAACP, the retired educator continues to contribute her energy toward helping the community in various activities.
She has one son, Ivan R. Davis, Sr., M.D., a loving and devoted daughter-in-law, Elizabeth, and two grandchildren, Ivan, and her name sake Attorney Ivanetta Davis Samuels (Dr. Dexter Samuels) and 1 great-grandson.