Leader for the integration of agriculture into public schools and dean of agriculture and vice president at the University of Illinois.
1856-1941 | Artist: Robert Wadsworth Grafton (1876-1936)
Impact & Accomplishments
An outspoken advocate for a national system of vocational education, Eugene Davenport was a leader for the integration of agriculture into the public schools.
Born on a Michigan farm and educated at the University of Michigan, Davenport taught at his alma mater from 1889 to 1891, and then spent time in Sao Paulo, Brazil, helping to establish a government-supported agricultural college.
From 1895 to 1922, Davenport was dean of agriculture at the University of Illinois. Dean Davenport also served as vice president of the university, 1920 to 1922. His Principles of Breeding, published in 1907, was a seminal work on reproduction and heredity.
Three honorary doctorates were conferred upon him: University of Michigan (1907), University of Kentucky (1913), and Iowa State College (1920).
Did You Know?
"Every properly educated man is trained both vocationally and liberally, the chief distinction of the educated man is after all his ability to view the world from a standpoint broader than his own surroundings" - Eugene Davenport
Photo of Eugene Davenport at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign circa February 1914 courtesy of UIUC Library Archives.
The Agriculture Building, later known as Old Agriculture Building, was dedicated May 21, 1901.
The building was renamed in honor of Eugene Davenport on Thursday, April 17, 1947. Davenport was the Vice President of the University of Illinois from 1920 to 1922 and the Dean of the College of Agriculture from 1895 to 1922. Photo by G. O'Graffer