St. Francis High School announced the selection of Dr. Thomas P. Davis ’69 as the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus during the Second Quarter Academic Awards Night on Jan. 31. The St. Francis community welcomed Davis “back home again,” presenting him with the annual Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Davis was selected for this honor because of his exemplary service to others in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi and in the true fashion of a Golden Knight. During the awards ceremony, Davis spoke about the importance of perseverance “in all we do.”
In response to life’s challenges and failures, Davis stressed that the key to persevering is having a positive support system like the brotherhood built at St. Francis among classmates. To help strengthen this point, over 15 of his classmates from the graduating class of 1969 joined him to celebrate his accomplishment. Their presence served as a testament to the deep bonds of brotherhood that were forged some 43 years ago on the same campus as today.
Davis entered St. Francis High School in the fall of 1965. During his four years, he participated in a variety of activities, including football and track, along with being a member of various clubs on campus. After graduating, he continued on to Loyola University (now LMU) where he earned a degree in biology.
His passion for science led him to continue his education and he went on to earn a master’s in physiology from UNLV, and his PhD in physiology and analytical biochemistry. He is the recipient of various awards and honors in his field, among them a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemists, a member of Who’s Who in the West, U.S., and a member of the distinguished Phi Beta Kappa Honorary Society.
After completing his education, he began working in the field as a chemist. His early work would set the stage for a long and prosperous career in both the professional landscape as well as in the world of academia.
Professionally, after a short stint at Abbott Laboratories, he joined Hansen Beverage Company in 1981 as a technical director, and has been there ever since.
He also founded, and has since directed, a laboratory at the University of Arizona’s School of Medicine for the past 30 years, which focuses on the treatment and rehabilitation of brain related diseases, including strokes, traumatic brain injuries including concussions, and inflammatory pain management. He has also been on the faculty at the university where he has taught over 17 different courses. He has been published in over 200 textbooks and journals, spoken at over 50 conferences and seminars, and has been the recipient of over $20 million in research grants from both public and private enterprises.