Tulane Alumni Association




Distinguished Alumnus/a Award 1996


Arthur Q. Davis Sr.

One of the most distinguished and celebrated architects in New Orleans, Arthur Q. Davis Sr. has enormously impacted the architectural landscape of the city. Yet, all the while, his interests have extended far beyond the field of architecture. Throughout his professional career, Davis has shared his talents and philanthropy with the academic, civic and cultural communities of New Orleans as well.

A native of New Orleans, Davis graduated from Tulane University with a bachelor of architecture in 1942. After serving with the U.S. Navy during World War II, he received a master of architecture from Harvard University in 1946. Almost immediately, he joined forces with architect Nathaniel Curtis Jr. (A '40) in the architectural firm of Curtis and Davis Architects and Planners, which received more than 50 honor awards for design excellence. Among the firm's projects were the Louisiana Superdome, the Rivergate Exhibition Center, the University of New Orleans Events Center, the New Orleans Public Library, Oakwood Shopping Center and Angola Penitentiary.

For these projects and many others, Davis was recognized as Outstanding Alumnus of the School of Architecture in 1982. Since 1988, he has operated his own firm, Arthur Q. Davis, FAIA and Partners.

Registered with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, Davis is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and a former member of the AIA's National Committee on Aesthetics, the AIA's National Honor Awards Program and the Architectural Advisory Committee to the U.S. Navy. He is also past chairman of the jury for the National Design Competition of American Telephone & Telegraph.

Over the years, Davis has served as a visiting critic at Harvard University School of Design, the Pratt Institute of Design, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and Tulane University. He also completed a lecture tour of the People's Republic of China as a guest of the Chinese government.

A current member of the Tulane President's Council and the Newcomb College Art Advisory Council, Davis has funded, for several years, the annual Davis Visiting Critic at the School of Architecture. He also gives prizes to Newcomb art students judged by a panel to be the most talented. 

As one of the principal individuals behind the birth of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Davis served as chairman of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation. He is past president of the board of trustees of the New Orleans Museum of Art and a past board member of the United Way, the Metropolitan Area Committee, the Preservation Resource Center Foundation and the Greater New Orleans Tourist and Convention Commission.

In 1988, Davis was named one of the 10 Outstanding Persons by the Institute for Human Understanding, and, in 1990, he received the Young Leadership Council's Role Model Award. In addition, Davis is an honorary citizen of the City of Berlin, and honor conferred by Chancellor Willy Brandt, and the Honorary Consul-General for the Kingdom of Thailand. He was also awarded the Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant by King Bhumibol of Thailand.

Davis is married to the former Mary Henriette Wineman (NC '43).

Alumni Relations, Tulane University, 6319 Willow Street, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5901