February 25, 2010, Pasadena, Calif. – The Board of Trustees of Art Center College of Design announced today that Robert C. Davidson Jr. has been elected board chairman. His appointment continues a new era of leadership at the College, following the announcement of a new president in October 2009.
Davidson is the first African-American to serve as board chairman at Art Center, and among the first African-Americans to assume Board leadership of a member institution within the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design
Mr. Davidson has served on the Board since 2004. Most recently, he served as chair of Art Center’s Presidential Search Committee, tasked with finding a new president and chief executive officer for the College, which resulted in the appointment of Dr. Lorne M. Buchman to that role. Mr. Davidson has also served on the Board’s Executive, Audit and Governance Committees, the latter of which he has chaired since 2007.
Dedicated to community involvement, Mr. Davidson sits on the board of a number of other organizations, including Morehouse College, where he serves as vice chairman of the Board of Trustees; Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc.; Broadway Federal Bank; Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; The White House Fellows Commission; the University of Chicago Graduate School Advisory Council. He is also vice chairman of the South Coast Air Quality Management District Brain and Lung Tumor and Air Pollution Foundation.
Previously, Davidson was a director of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles; Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce; Rebuild L.A.; Museum of Contemporary Art; Charles Drew University School of Medicine; Armory Center for the Arts; Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; the African/American Museum of Art; Big Brothers of Greater Los Angeles; Fulcrum Venture Capital Corporation; Los Angeles Urban League; and the Planning Commission for the City of Pasadena.
Among the many honors Mr. Davidson has received are the Man of the Year Award from the March of Dimes, the Bennie Award for Leadership from Morehouse College, the president’s residence at Morehouse College named in his honor, the Father of the Year Award from the American Diabetes Association, the Ronald H. Brown Award , the Raoul Wallenberg Save the Children Award from the Shaare Zedek Medical Center Jerusalem, Black Businessman of the Year from the Los Angeles Chapter of the Black MBA Association and Outstanding Entrepreneur of the Year from the National Association of Investment Companies.
Mr. Davidson is the retired chairman and chief executive officer of Surface Protection Industries, which he founded in 1978, and which became one of the top African American-owned manufacturing companies in California. Previously, he co-founded and served as vice president of the Urban National Corporation, a private venture capital firm that raised over $10 million for investments into minority-controlled businesses.
Mr. Davidson received a B.S. from Morehouse College, earned his MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree from Morehouse College. Pasadena residents, Mr. Davidson and his wife, Faye, are the parents of three sons: Robert III, John Roderick and Julian.
About Art Center: Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, California, Art Center College of Design is a global leader in art and design education. Art Center offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a wide variety of art and design disciplines, as well as public programs for all ages and levels of experience. Renowned for its ties to industry, Art Center is the first design school to receive the United Nations' Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status, providing opportunities for students to create design-based solutions for humanitarian and non-profit agencies around the world. During the College's 80-year history, Art Center's alumni have had a profound impact on popular culture, the way we live, and important issues in our society. * * *
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