Reed Davis retires after 32 years of civic engagement

Professor Reed Davis | photo by Lynn AnselmiNOT LONG BEFORE the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War, Reed Davis, professor of political science, joined the Seattle Pacific University faculty. For the next 32 years, Davis underscored the importance of civic engagement to his students in all of his courses — from “Introduction to Politics” to advanced seminars dedicated to political philosophers ranging from Plato to Marx.

Davis, who’d long been interested in French politics and philosophy, launched the Augustinian Fellowship at SPU and a summer study abroad program in Honfleur and St. Maximin, France. He authored A Politics of Understanding: The International Thought of Raymond Aron, and he wrote peer-reviewed publications dedicated to the work of that French philosopher. Davis also published in La Revue Réformée, a journal associated with the Faculté Jean Calvin in Aix-en-Provence. Davis was one of only two American authors invited to contribute a chapter on Aron to a book published by a new generation of French scholars, The International Thinking of Raymond Aron.

Davis served as department chair from 2006 to 2014 and, popular with students, he was a four-time finalist for Teacher of the Year. He was also named Ivy Honorary Professor of the Year in 2011.

Away from campus, Davis was active in state and local politics, serving as chair of the King County Republican Party from 1994 to 2002; he ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004. He was also a regular commentator on local and national politics for radio stations such as KOMO, KVI, KTTH, and for TV stations KING-5 and Fox. His editorials appeared in The Seattle Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and Northwest Progressive. He currently sits on the board of Solar Solutions, a nonprofit that installs solar power panels in central Peru.

In retirement, Reed said his plans are few: “I plan to do nothing but fun — fly fishing, golf, tennis, grandchildren. I also plan to travel to France. A lot.”

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