W. R. Davenport
| William Randolph|
(President of Campbellsville University in Kentucky, 1969-1988)
|Born|| 1926 |
Place of birth missing
Resident since 1969 of Campbellsville, Taylor County, Kentucky
|Spouse|| Janet Chambers Davenport|
William Randolph Davenport, also known as W. R. Davenport and Randy Davenport (born 1926), was a Southern Baptist educator who served from 1969 to 1988 as the president of Campbellsville University, formerly Campbellsville College, in Campbellsville, located in Taylor County in central Kentucky.
Prior to his CU presidency, Davenport worked in education in Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, and Michigan. He obtained his A.B. degree in chemistry from the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky. He thereafter received a Master of Science and a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He has served at both the local and international levels with the Gideons and is a past president of that Christian-outreach organization.
Davenport has long been affiliated with the Campbellsville Baptist Church. While CU president, he established in 1976 the Church Relations Council and thereafter the President's Club for recognition of donors. Both encourage financial contributions to the university. In 2013, the university honored Davenport with a special plaque for his insight in establishing the Church Relations Council.
In 2008, at the CU annual Heritage Day, Davenport, as the featured speaker, recalled that 60 percent of the existence of the university has been under four presidents. Davenport said that the pressures of serving as president are significant. Davenport noted that his predecessor, Dr. John Mark Carter, Sr., who served from 1948 to 1968, "almost single handedly" led the college from two-year to four-year status. "We owe a great debt of gratitude to that man who literally sacrificed his health in the job. We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us."
Davenport urged the students to develop a "world view," an understanding of what they do in life and how to do it. "Look carefully at various points of view and come on the side of God who created this place. Things are a mess in a lot of places in the world. Sin entered the world, and everybody is working to fix the world, but what is wrong is that we sinned against God," he warned.
He recalled that donations from Ransdell Surgical Company in Louisville "kept the place solvent." The institution needed a lot of things when Davenport became president. "We have still not arrived. We are a work in progress," he said, noting the continued dependence on sacrificial donors.
When Davenport was sidelined with back problems in 2013, his wife, the former Janet Chambers (born November 15, 1927), said, “The Lord has done wonderful things, and he shows us we have a lot to be grateful for.”
The Davenports have four children: Marty, Mary, and Susan Davenport and Liz Davenport Wilson. The first three graduated from Campbellsville College, as it was then known.
The Davenport Student Commons at CU is named for the former president.
- Joan McKinney (May 21, 2013). CU former president Dr. W. R. Davenport is honored. Campbellsville.edu. Retrieved on December 3, 2017.
- Robert S. Clark. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on December 2, 2017.
- Joan C. McKinney (September 28, 2008). Dr. Davenport is honored speaker at Heritage Day: Former CU president recalls university's struggles, its future. columbiamagazine.com. Retrieved on December 3, 2017.
- Davenport Student Commons. universitymaps.com. Retrieved on December 4, 2017.