Davis Advertising Scholarship in Honor of Marion and Leonard Davis

Davis Advertising Scholarship in Honor of Marion and Leonard Davis

Criteria: (Two $1,000 awards) The Davis Advertising Scholarship in Honor of Marion and Leonard Davis will be awarded to two students majoring in Communications who exemplify the qualities of hard work and determination. It should be noted that this scholarship will not be automatically renewed and applicants are encouraged to reapply each academic year.

Andy Davis, a member of the Worcester State Foundation and owner of Davis Advertising in Worcester, has established a scholarship in honor of his parents, Marion (Cohen) and Leonard Davis.

Marion and Leonard Davis grew up in Worcester and graduated from Commerce High School. Leonard, an astute businessman, became a sales manager for a Providence, Rhode Island, radio station. His work brought him into contact with the numerous ad agencies in the area and before long he decided that there was room for a good ad agency in Worcester. He and Marion rented a room at 274 Main Street and set up shop in 1949. They paid themselves fifteen dollars a week.

The couple originally focused on radio ads, with Marion doing the writing and Leonard taking care of accounts. Before long, however, they had two non-radio clients: Molly Stark Furniture in Vermont and Baker Box in Worcester. They hired an artist and their business continued to grow.

In time, Marion, who had always enjoyed writing, expanded her role to become a radio personality. Using the name “Sheila Dix”, she became a well-known hostess for live broadcasts of store openings and other public relations events. The agency expanded in yet another direction when it began managing the Worcester Home Show in the 1960s. The company had done the advertising for the event for many years, but when the opportunity to organize and manage it came up, Leonard didn’t hesitate to take on the responsibility.

Leonard passed away in 1977, and Marion retired in 1979. But the couple’s multi-faceted communications enterprise continues to grow and prosper under the guidance of their sons. Jeffrey Davis, M.Ed. ’71, who worked in the agency for many years, manages Expo Management, which runs many popular events. Philip publishes several highly regarded local newspapers. And Andy owns and operates Davis Advertising, Worcester’s largest ad agency. Employing more than 25 people and servicing more than 60 clients, the agency has handled advertising for Worcester State University for many years.

Andy established this scholarship “to encourage and support individuals who want to work in communications – and as a tribute to my parents, who proved that with good ideas and hard work almost anything is possible.”