ASC awards posthumous diploma to Wilma Davis

(08-12-2009)

Adams State President David Svaldi (left) presents a posthumous bachelor's degree in art to the daughters of Wilma Davis, Bonnie Follett and Tricia Nunn.

Adams State President David Svaldi (left) presents a posthumous bachelor's degree in art to the daughters of Wilma Davis, Bonnie Follett and Tricia Nunn.

When Wilma Davis became seriously ill, she was most concerned about missing school. "It grieved her to have to take a break from school," said her daughter, Tricia Nunn.

The 58-year-old grandmother was close to finishing her degree at Adams State College when she passed away in January. Adams State President David Svaldi presented a posthumous diploma to her daughters in a small ceremony Aug. 1. Davis was awarded a bachelor's of art in Interdisciplinary Studies with emphases in art and Spanish.

Family and friends of Wilma Davis at her memorial art exhibit in the ASC Art Building's Hatfield Gallery.

Family and friends of Wilma Davis at her memorial art exhibit in the ASC Art Building's Hatfield Gallery.

Several of Davis' family members, professors, and friends attended the event, which featured a memorial exhibition of Davis' work. The exhibit included drawings and black and white photography of trains, bridges, and wildlife.

"If I could do anything," Svaldi said, "I'd have more students like her."

Tearfully accepting the diploma, Nunn said, "Mom's the only one in our family who has one of these."

In addition to her love of school and art making, Davis was remembered as a fabulous cook who always made burritos for the art league. "She could make everything taste good. She'd feed anybody, take anybody in," her daughter recalled.

Davis was the youngest in a family of 13 from Antonito, Colo. At least 200 members of her extended family were gathering for a reunion the weekend of the memorial exhibition.

By Julie Waechter