Berklee Today

Berklee Beat:
Room above the BPC Named in Honor of Will Davis

From the left: Former board of trustees chair Will Davis receives a commemorative key from President Lee Eliot Berk during the September 2001 dedication of the Will Davis room above the lobby of the Berklee Performance Center.
Photo by Justin Allardyce Knight

On September 7, the room above the lobby of the Berklee Performance Center, formerly known as the Friends' Lounge, was named in honor of Will Davis, the recently retired Berklee board of trustees chair and a longtime trustee. Present for the unveiling of a new plaque and signage bearing the name of the dedicatee, were Davis's family, donors, trustees, and college leaders. The following are excerpts from President Berk's introductory remarks recalling Davis's years of service to the college and a bit of history about the Berklee Performance Center.

"After Berklee moved to the 1140 Boylston Street building in the mid-1960s, we began eyeing this facility, then a part of the Bryant & Stratton School. We were fortunate enough to be able to purchase it in the mid-1970s, about the same time Will Davis joined Berklee's board of trustees.

"The Fenway Theater, as it was then known, was an aging movie theater in disrepair. In fact, the space that is now the Davis Room was only discovered when work crews began demolishing various spaces in the theater to make way for improvements. The Davis Room was created out of thin air, so to speak, at a time when the modern Berklee was just being formed. It is sort of an analogy and a parallel to Will's association with Berklee.

"Davis joined Berklee's board in the mid-70's and as a member and then chair of the Finance Committee he led us out of the financial wilderness to become a very well-regarded institution by the financial community. Later, as board chair, he made major contributions to the establishment of the modern Berklee and to the success of the college in all areas identified as crucial to board leadership by the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities.

"There is broad-based affection and respect for Will at Berklee, and it is notable that the funding to name this room in his honor comes from trustees and staff of the college as well as from a friend of the Davis family.

"The naming of the Davis Room is another significant milestone for Berklee. This room now joins other such facilities named in honor of special people within the Berklee community. The Lawrence and Alma Berk Recital Hall, the David Friend Recital Hall, the Stan Getz Media Center and Library, and the Genko Uchida Building are other facilities bearing names of significant figures in the college's history.

"We are very pleased that the identity of the person we honor today and the generosity of those who made the honor possible will become known to the more than 100,000 people who annually pass through the lobby of the Berklee Performance Center.”