In Memoriam: Thaddeus Davis ’09

Elizabeth Worthington, News Co-Editor

The University mourns the loss of alumnus and employee Thaddeus Davis. Davis tragically passed away on Thursday, July 20 after getting caught in a riptide while swimming with his 10-year old son in the Outer Banks in North Carolina. His son was rescued by a lifeguard, but Davis went under the surface and his body did not reappear. Authorities launched a search at about 2 p.m. that Thursday, and the Coast Guard recovered his body by 12:45 a.m. on Friday, July 21.

Davis graduated from the University in 2009 and later became an annual fund development officer for the University’s Development and Alumni Relations office. He also worked as an assistant coach for the Lewisburg Area High School football team.

Scott Rosevear, the Vice President of the Development and Alumni Relations office, issued the following statement on Friday, July 21, the day after Davis passed away: “We are shocked and saddened by Thaddeus’ passing. Thaddeus was a valued member of our community who lit up a room with his smile and enthusiasm. He was one of those people you looked forward to seeing at the office every day. We were so very fortunate to have had him as a member of the Bucknell community, both as a student and a colleague. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this very difficult time.”

Davis’ passion for working with and developing relationships with others was evident in his dedication to coaching, his church, and his family.

Abbey Scheckter, Senior Assistant Director for Annual Fund Regional Development, had a close working relationship with Davis, and described him as “a colleague of great character” with “a rare ability to identify and bring out the best in any person he encountered.”

“I literally never heard him speak a bad word about anyone in the two and a half years he worked here,” she said.

Scheckter spoke about his ability to forge connections with alumni based on his genuine respect for and interest in their experiences at the University.

“Our office misses him and his infectious enthusiasm tremendously,” Scheckter said.

Head wrestling coach for the University, Dan Wirnsberger, worked with Davis in several capacities. The two coached each other’s children in local youth football, and Davis also served as an informational guest speaker for prospective wrestling recruits’ official visits.

“Thaddeus was an amazing person that impacted many lives through his love for life and his desire to serve others that was guided by his Christian faith.  All the goodness that was seen in him was a reflection of Christ Jesus.  His legacy will live on through his family and the impact he had on hundreds of athletes,” Wirnsberger said.

Davis also touched the lives of many students at the University. Dabreon Darby ’19 knew Davis through his wife, Amy. They did a pre-orientation program called “RAMP UP’ together and Davis was present throughout much of the program.

“Thaddeus was an amazing man, father and friend. He taught me a lot about what a black man should represent and how to become a better me. His positivity had an overarching effect on all those around him. His cordiality and decency was beyond comprehension! Thaddeus has had a lasting impact on my life and I will miss him dearly,” Darby said.

Nneoma Ibezim ’18 met Davis as a first-year through the on-campus ministry, The Gathering.

“Finding this organization meant so much to me, because religion has always been a huge part of my life. Thaddeus preached sermons and prayed over us constantly, along with his wife Amy. Whenever I saw him around campus he shared positive words and encouraged me. It felt like he always knew just what to say,” Ibezim said.

“One thing I would want Bucknell to know about Thaddeus is that he had a genuine love for Christ and showed it in everything he did. He gave his all to everything he was apart of, which is why all of our relationships with Thaddeus felt so personal. I will always be grateful to have learned so much from him,” she said.

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