June 8, 2021 — Team Davidson was joined by friends, family, local and state leaders Tuesday night to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Dorothy Davidson. The event was held at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center's Davidson Center for Space Exploration. A string trio from Huntsville Symphony Orchestra performed as guests entered the building which bears Davidson's name and were seated under the Saturn V Rocket she helped preserve and restore. Davidson's Chairman & CEO, MG John W. Holly (USA Ret.) began the ceremony with a welcome salutation and introduction.
"I can hear Dorothy messaging me saying, 'Keep it simple, John.' But this evening, there is much to celebrate when reflecting on the contributions and impact of Dorothy to our country, our community and our company," said Holly.
"I first met Dorothy twenty-five years ago, along with her husband Julian," Holly continued. "They were some of the first to welcome Teri and I to Huntsville. Since that initial meeting, I grew to respect her professionally and I was honored to call her my friend."
Holly then introduced remarks from former U.S. Attorney General & Alabama Senator,
"Dorothy was there. She saw the outstanding progress and her charitable gifts were to ensure, in her mind, that the educational, human and cultural strengths of this community matched its economic and technological growth and advancement," said Sessions.
"Dorothy was loyal, affirming and supportive of so many individuals. Count me in that group. I felt I had her support and strength and affirmation in a deep and personal way. It meant a lot to me."
Davidson Board Lead Independent Director, Mike DeMaioribus, then delivered an official statement from U.S. Senator, Richard Shelby. In his letter, Shelby says in part, "The Davidsons and I shared many similar interest, including our vision of Huntsville as a space, technology, and intelligence hub. Dorothy and Julian recruited a great deal of engineers to North Alabama over the years and remain committed to giving back to the community all the while. The state of Alabama has lost a wonderful advocate in Dorothy, but her legacy will persist,” Shelby ensures.
"May we all strive to live more like Dorothy and Julian Davidson."
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle then approached the podium to speak on the impact the Davidson legacy has had and will contuse to have on our city, and beyond.
"Dorothy left big footprints," proclaimed Battle. "Big footprints intellectually; if you look across this city you see places she put her money into music, into arts, into how to change peoples' hearts — how to make people better people. She changed this city."
General Holly returned to center stage and recited this list of words: "Inspirational; trustworthy; spunky; virtuous; caring; resilient." He says when polled recently, these were just a few of the words Team Davidson employees used to describe Dr. Dorothy Davidson. Holly then introduced a video presentation produced, written and edited by Davidson Creative Services Manager, David Wood.
The video eulogy entitled, 'The Matter with Words: An Ode to Dorothy' focuses on the daunting task of finding the right words to properly honor someone as special and impactful as Dorothy Davidson. Watch the video below.
Holly closed out the ceremony by encouraging everyone to visit davidson-tech.com and click the news tab to find 'The Matter with Words' article including the essay and other tributes and remembrances from Team Davidson employees. He invited the community to use the comments section as a Virtual Memory Board, to share more thoughts and remembrances of Dr. Dorothy Davidson.