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William Hersey Davis, Jr., MD

The Scholarship honors Dr. Davis, who was the first Chief Resident in Pediatrics at the North Carolina Memorial Hospital and in the UNC Department of Pediatrics.

Clarice Tyson Davis and William Hersey Davis Jr.
Clarice Tyson Davis and William Hersey Davis Jr.

About Dr. Davis

Dr. Davis was a beloved husband, son, father, and grandfather. He was also a mentor to countless young people and physicians. Born in 1918 in Louisville, Kentucky, Dr. Davis received his BA and his MD degrees cum laude from Duke University. After service in WWII, he completed his residency in pediatrics at UNC.

Dr. Davis practiced pediatrics in Winston-Salem, North Carolina for 40 years. He taught as a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Bowman Gray School of Medicine from 1955 to 1990, and was Clinical Professor Emeritus from 1990 until his death in 1999.

He received the North Carolina governor’s award, the “Order of the Longleaf Pine” for his work in neonatology. Dr. Davis was married to Clarice Tyson Davis for 56 years. Mrs. Davis’ warm and captivating personality delighted early Davis recipients as she always went out of her way to get to know each one personally up until her death in 2014.

About the Scholarship

The Pediatric Student Scholarship is funded through a generous gift from Pamela Davis Leight (daughter of Dr. Davis) and George Staples Leight, Jr., M.D. The recipient will be awarded a $10,000 tuition scholarship. If the student’s tuition has already been covered, the student may use the scholarship money for room and board or other living expenses.

UNC medical students who anticipate graduation within the next year and who intend to specialize in pediatrics or medicine/pediatrics are eligible to apply for the scholarship.

The medical student selected as the Davis Pediatric Scholar will be one who demonstrates a scholarly approach to pediatric medicine; an exemplary sensitivity, concern and care for children of all backgrounds; a special talent for putting patients and parents at ease; a willingness to both listen and provide clear explanations; a recognizable ability to gain the trust of patients, families, and other medical providers; high moral standards and ethical values; and a passion for enhancing the well-being of children everywhere.

We established this scholarship to acknowledge how much he taught us and others about courage and caring."
-Clarice Tyson Davis

How to Apply

Please submit your application by August 1st. Please submit the forms and responses listed below electronically to Brandon Woodmancy at Brandon will send a confirmation email upon receiving all listed materials.

Applicants must submit:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement that answers one of the following questions:
    • Describe an experience with a patient or patient’s family member which made an impact on you.
    • Describe a life experience that you’ve had which influences the way you approach pediatric medicine.
  • Letter of recommendation from  a pediatric faculty member who supervised you during a pediatric clinical rotation. This faculty member does not have to be at UNC.
  • Transcripts of pre-clinical grades and third year clerkships.


  • August 1: Applications are due. Applications will be reviewed by the Davis Scholarship selection committee, which consists of former Davis scholars and leaders from the School of Medicine.
  • Late August: After the committee reviews all applications, a small number of finalists may be invited for in-person interviews.
  • Early September: The Davis Scholarship will be announced.
  • November: The award will be presented at the fall State of the Department Pediatrics Grand Rounds.

For any further questions please call Brandon Woodmancy in the Financial Aid Office at 919-962-6117.