Cole and Jeannie Davis, currently residing in Tucson, Ariz., have committed a $6 million leadership gift to the University of Arizona in order to initiate the first phase of renovations to the school’s McKale Memorial Center. Cole Davis is a longtime RV industry executive, working for Coachmen Industries Inc. and Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. before founding Keystone RV Co. He later served as COO of Thor Industries Inc.
According to a press release, the Davis family has now reached $10 million in giving to Arizona’s athletics department, which also includes a leadership gift for the construction of the Richard Jefferson Gymnasium, its strength and conditioning center, and basketball locker room and hallway renovations in McKale.
“During our initial introductions, Jeannie and I were so impressed with Sean Miller and his vision for where Arizona basketball was headed,” Cole Davis stated. “Now, four years later, we’ve seen the results of that vision and we’re excited to be supporting a program that can compete for championships.”
The Arizona athletics department staff, in coordination with the University of Arizona Foundation, is working to raise $30 million for Phase I of an overall $80 million McKale renovation project. With the Davis’ leadership gift, the department has already secured $12.6 million and has presented a number of gift proposals that are expected to increase that total to at least $20 million in the near future.
The renovation project is expected to positively impact all 20 of UA’s sports programs and specifically the men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and gymnastics programs that utilize McKale as their competition site.
“We can’t thank Cole and Jeannie enough for their generosity and support of Arizona Athletics,” said Director of Athletics Greg Byrne. “Their commitment to our programs is admirable and their contributions have gone a long way in providing our student-athletes with the best possible experience.
The Davises became part of the Tucson community when they bought a retirement home in Tucson in 1999. Their fondness for the University of Arizona followed shortly thereafter and they decided to make Tucson their permanent residence in 2003.