John M. Davis Graduate Fellowship

We, John and Carol Davis ("donors"), hereby acknowledge a pledge in the amount of one million dollars ($1,000,000) to Texas State University Development Foundation ("Foundation") to be used to establish a permanent endowment, the John M. Davis Graduate Fellowship.

In creating the Davis Fellowship, John M. Davis, wishes to support worthy graduate students in psychology. Dr. Davis earned his B.A. in 1966, and M.A.T. in 1967 from Oklahoma City University. In 1967 he accepted a faculty position at Schiller International University in Ge1many. While in Germany he pursued advanced studies in German language,literature, and psychology at the University of Heidelberg and the University of Erlangen Numberg. Returning to the United States, he enrolled in the Ph.D. Program at the University of Oklahoma, earning an M.S. in 1972 and a 1974, both in Experimental Psychology. In 1974, he accepted a position in the Psychology Department at Texas State University (then Southwest Texas State University).

With primary research areas of social and international psychology (interpersonal and intergroup relations), Dr. Davis has achieved national and international recognition for his scientific and scholarly work and received numerous honors including the SWT President's Award for Excellence in Scholarly/Creative Activities in 1980. Based on his lifetime of scholarly achievements and contributions to the discipline of psychology, he was elected a Fellow of the American Psychological Association in 2018.

In 2020 he received the Texas Alumni Association Teaching Award of Honor.He has been repeatedly voted "Favorite Professor" by Alpha Chi and recognized often by graduating students.This recognition is based on his teaching excellence as well as his outstanding mentorship of students in his research laboratory. He created and teaches two popular courses,the undergraduate course, International Psychology, and the graduate course, Research Seminar in Social Psychology. Other undergraduate courses he has taught include Introduction to Psychology, Social Psychology, Personality Psychology, Introduction to Statistics, Experimental and Research Methods, History and Theory in Psychology. Other graduate courses include Advanced Statistics and Industrial Social Psychology.

In terms of service, he has served as a faculty senator, and as chair or member of many faculty-senate, university, departmental, and college committees. He served as the first Director of the Undergraduate Psychology Program. In 2020, he received the Dean's Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Service. His service and leadership in the discipline of psychology has been widely recognized, including his work as the Secretary General of the International Council of Psychologists (1994-1997), as President of the Southwestern Psychological Association (2002-2003), and as President of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology (2006-2012). Dr. Davis' service has extended globally and includes humanitarian work in Europe, and a year working with Vietnamese "boat people" in United Nations Refugee camps in Hong Kong.

Retiring in 2020 after forty-six years at Texas State University, he continues to teach, research, and publish during phased retirement as Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology. In conclusion, Dr. Davis wishes to express his deep appreciation to his colleagues and friends (students, faculty,and staff) at Texas State University and beyond. He is also deeply grateful for his supportive family and their shared Christian faith and commitment to a life of service. In creating this fellowship, he will continue contributing to the research training of graduate students and to the further growth and advancement of the Department of Psychology's graduate program.

Distributions from the endowment shall be used to award fellowship(s) to graduate students pursuing a degree in psychology at Texas State University and focusing on basic or applied scientific research in Psychology. Recipient(s) may continue receiving the fellowship throughout their degree program so long as they maintain the minimum criteria. Recipient(s) must be classified as full-time graduate students and maintain a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 system.

Worthy and qualified students will be selected using the selection criteria below.

  • Demonstrate financial need;
  • Demonstrate a record of academic excellence;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to community service; and
  • Have potential for contributing to underserved populations (e.g., ethnic, rural, socioeconomic, international).

Recipient(s) will be selected by the Scholarship Selection Committee in the Department of Psychology.

Students who apply by the priority deadline and meet all prerequisites will be invited to apply for the fellowship. More information about how to do so will be included in an admissions email from the department.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Dr. Katherine Warnell (