Will D. Davis, Sr.

Regretfully, we must share news of the passing of Will Davis on December 12th. A native of Austin who graduated from Austin High School in 1948, he declined a football scholarship from Texas and soon found his way to Baylor University.  It was a good fit to say the least.  He was a running back on the Bear football team that lost a close game to Georgia Tech in the 1952 Orange Bowl.  Off the field he was an organizer of the first student government at Baylor and its first president.

After graduation, Davis began his legal career as an assistant attorney general of Texas.  He was actively involved in the 1955 and 1957 sessions of the legislature that made many needed changes to insurance regulation, including the establishment of a three-member state board of insurance that directed the work of a single insurance commissioner.

In 1957, he became the general counsel of the insurance department and for the next three years he helped implement the new laws, including new capital requirements.

In 1970, Davis was responsible for drafting the legislation regulating insurance holding company systems.  He also played a major role in the rewrite of the Texas Insurance Code.  In 2003, he was instrumental in passing Senate Bill 14, the bill which moved Texas from the benchmark rate system to a file and use system. 

Davis served as president of the Baylor Alumni Association and chairman of their board of regents.  He was one of the original founders of Austin Community College in 1971, and served three terms as president of the board of trustees of the Austin Independent School District.  He was also president of both the Texas and national association of school boards.

Among dozens of honors, the Insurance Council of Texas presented the Raymond Mauk Leadership Award to Davis in 2010. It is the Council’s highest honor and is intended to bestow recognition on those whose labor has made a significant difference in the business of insurance. In 2012, the Texas Association of Life & Health Insurers established the Will D. Davis Excellence in Insurance Award with Davis as the award’s first recipient. In 2014 he was awarded Baylor's Pro Texana Medal of Service, awarded to an individual whose contributions in furthering the mission of Baylor have made an immeasurable impact in the public or non-profit sector.

ICT joins all of Will's family, friends and colleagues as we remember a life well lived. Read much more about Will's life and contributions here.