Utah Civil Rights Icon Pastor France Davis to Speak to WSU Graduates

OGDEN, Utah – The Rev. France Davis, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church — one of Utah’s oldest and largest African-American congregations — will speak at WSU’s 152nd convocation Dec. 14. Davis will address graduates in the Jerry & Vickie Moyes College of Education at 8 a.m. in the Dee Events Center. He will also speak to the Telitha E. Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities at 1 p.m. in the Val A. Browning Center Austad Auditorium. His pre-recorded remarks will be played at other college convocation ceremonies held throughout the day.

Davis said he will share with graduates some of the “gems” he has learned throughout a life of varied experiences.

“Speaking to the graduates will be a rich opportunity,” Davis said. “I am looking forward to interacting with the graduates who are preparing to enter the workforce.”

Davis has been the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church for 44 years. He was licensed as a minister in 1966 and was ordained 1971. Davis came to Salt Lake City in 1972 as a teaching fellow and graduate student at the University of Utah. He served as assistant pastor at Calvary Baptist while he was in school. In 1974, Davis became the church’s full-time pastor.

Davis was involved in the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s civil rights campaigns, including the voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. He served four years as an aircraft mechanic in the Air Force. After his time in the service, he decided to go into the ministry.

Weber State awarded Davis an honorary degree in April for his lifelong commitment to education. He holds multiple degrees, including two master’s degrees in mass communication from the University of Utah and master’s degree of ministry from Northwest Nazarene College. Davis served on the Utah State Board of Regents from 2008 to 2017. He retired from the University of Utah in 2014 as an adjunct associate professor. Five scholarships have been established in his honor.

Visit weber.edu/commencement for more information about graduation.

Visit weber.edu/wsutoday for more news about Weber State University.


Allison Barlow Hess, Public Relations director
801-626-7948 • ahess@weber.edu


Ross Rosier, Office of Marketing & Communications
801-626-7948 • rossrosier@weber.edu