Texas Tech University

Texas Tech Supporters in Chronicle of Philanthropy Top 50 Biggest Donors

George Watson

February 15, 2023

Gordon and Joyce Davis

Gordon and Joyce Davis’ $44 million gift to the Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources is the single largest philanthropic donation in Texas Tech history.

In 2022, Gordon and Joyce Davis helped Texas Tech University make history with their $44 million philanthropic donation to the college that now bears their name – the Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources

The transformational gift to Texas Tech is one of the largest investments in people and programs in an agricultural college in the U.S. The gift will help student success and drive future fundraising for the college to continue supporting new and ongoing projects.

On Tuesday, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the leading publication in the U.S. highlighting fundraising for non-profit professionals and foundations, listed the Davises in its annual Philanthropy 50 survey of the 50 biggest philanthropic donors in the U.S.

“As some of America's top philanthropists, Gordon and Joyce's generosity is inspiring. Together, they have created untold influences on the agriculture industry – at Texas Tech, in this state and across the nation,” said Byron Kennedy, vice president for university advancement. “What an honor it is to see the Davises recognized in the Chronicle of Philanthropy for their tremendous impact.”

Along with a $1 million donation to the Texas Tech Athletic Department and more than $733,000 given to “a variety of causes and non-profits, including agriculture, animal rescue, hunger and human-service organizations,” Gordon and Joyce Davis contributed $45.7 million to philanthropic causes within the past year.

Davis was a faculty member at Texas Tech for 10 years, leaving in 1990 to devote his full attention to the education curriculum company he began as CEV Multimedia, which is now known as iCEV. Davis sold the company in 2021 and made the donation to Texas Tech with the goal of continuing and enhancing the academic success within Davis College.

“Agriculture doesn't get the respect it deserves,” Gordon told the Chronicle of Philanthropy. “I call it a sleeping giant. And I want to see this giant recognized one day.”

All totaled, the top 50 philanthropic donors gave more than $14 billion in 2022, with Microsoft founder Bill Gates topping the list. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation donated $5.1 billion in 2022.