In presenting the award, Drake President David Maxwell told Davidson, "We're all proud of what you've accomplished as an alumnus of the University, but since I have become acquainted with you over the years, I have to say I am most proud of who you are." "I am so honored to have received this medal," Davidson said. "I take it with a great deal of humbleness."
Davidson told of how he had a dream of going into community pharmacy, owning his own store and building it into a chain someday. "Dreams are so important in life, you want to reach for the moon," he said. "But," he added, "it's important to have options." While he was working at a community pharmacy in Florida, a casual conversation with a sales representative from Abbott Laboratories launched his long and distinguished career with the company. He advised current Drake pharmacy students to "Keep your options open."
Davidson began his 32-year career with Abbott Laboratories in 1955. He excelled in sales and marketing. After several promotions, he was named director of field sales for the Hospital Products Division. He retired from Abbott Laboratories in 1987 as western area sales director and now lives in Laguna Niguel, Calif.
The Weaver Medal of Honor was established by Lawrence Weaver, PH'49, dean emeritus of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, and his wife, Delores.
During his remarks, Davidson recalled meeting Dr. Weaver when they were both involved in Phi Delta Chi at Drake. The two saw one another occasionally throughout the years until 1991, when Davidson received a phone call from Dr. Weaver inviting him to join the effort to raise funds for the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Davidson didn't commit to the effort until he came to campus and saw what was happening at the college. "If it wasn't for the gentle persuasiveness of Larry Weaver, I wouldn't be as involved with the college as I am," he said.
Davidson serves on the Drake Board of Trustees and the National Advisory Board for the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences as well as the President's Circle Board. He also was a member of the Center for Science and Pharmacy Education Fundraising Committee from 1991-1994 and he co-chaired the fundraising effort for his 50- year class reunion. He is a major benefactor of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, which established the Donald F. Davidson Pharmacy Practice Laboratory in his honor.
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