Charles W. Davidson

Charles W. Davidson

Media contact:
Pat Lopes Harris,, 408-924-1748

SAN JOSE, CA – Distinguished alumnus, business leader and philanthropist Charles W. Davidson will receive an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at the San Jose State University Honors Convocation on April 25 at the Event Center.

“We believe Charles Davidson’s exemplary achievements, his exceptional philanthropic spirit, and his positive impact on San Jose State University and the Silicon Valley as a whole merit this significant honorary degree,” said President Mohammad Qayoumi.

A self-made man

A native of Oklahoma, Charles W. Davidson came to California in 1952 and has been a resident of San Jose ever since. Attending classes at San Jose State by day and working in the railroad yards by night, Davidson graduated with a degree in civil engineering in 1957.

After several years of employment with the city, Davidson struck out on his own, eventually becoming one of the largest and most successful real estate developers in the Bay Area. Through their support of education, the arts, social and human services and medical research activities, Davidson and his wife Anita, ’51 Education, have greatly impacted the university and the region.

Charles W. Davidson is the founder of the Tower Foundation, SJSU’s auxiliary philanthropic organization. In March 2007, he made a $15 million gift to the College of Engineering, the largest private individual gift to SJSU ever at the time. He has also supported scholarships, an endowed professorship, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Library and SJSU Athletics. 

San Jose State is grateful for more than Charles Davidson’s giving: We consider him a caring friend and adviser with wisdom and keen insight into humanity, traits that have made him a success in all areas of life,” President Qayoumi said.

Honors Convocation

Over 3,545 undergraduates who earned a GPA of 3.65 or higher in at least two contiguous semesters of the three prior semesters will be honored at this year’s ceremony at 6 p.m. April 25 in the Event Center.

San Jose State University — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,850 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.