Nancy Davis Wins Auburn Lifetime Impact Award | Alabama News

By LAUREN JOHNSON, Opelika-Auburn News

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — The Auburn Chamber of Commerce named Nancy Davis the winner of the Ham Lifetime Impact Award at its annual meeting last week.

Named in honor of former Auburn mayor Bill Ham, the award was created in 2019 and pays tribute to an individual who’s given “exceptional and impactful personal and professional contributions to the community” for at least 20 years.

Davis is an attorney who started the firm of Davis, Bingham, Hudson and Buckner PC in Auburn in 1978.

“When you’re honored for doing things that you love, it’s just, I feel like all I’ve said is ‘blessed,’ but that’s how I feel,” Davis said. “I can’t tell you how this warmed my heart. I was shocked.”

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When Davis was called to the stage at the annual meeting, she was escorted by one of her grandsons, and when she started to speak, she got emotional.

“I was blessed to start the practice working with wonderful people,” she told the crowd. “There is no line between my friends, my clients (and) my colleagues. You’ve all been part of my family.

“Every day I grow a better understanding of how blessed I am to be part of this community.”

Megan McGowen Crouch, Auburn’s city manager, presented the award and said Davis “worked tirelessly” to serve the community by volunteering with many civic organizations including Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lee County, Faces, Lee-Scott Foundation and the Hudson Family Foundation.

When it comes to community service, Davis said she has a special interest in projects that involve students.

“I think we’re all led to support different parts of the community that really touch our own heart,” Davis said, “but if I can be of service in any way, that’s been what’s important to me.”

Davis said she loves service and also feels blessed to have the opportunity to serve in different capacities. She served as board chair of the Auburn Chamber of Commerce in 1991 and has remained a “steadfast and loyal” supporter of the chamber throughout the years, Crouch said. Davis is also currently on the board of the Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center.

In addition to her civic involvement and her professional contributions, Crouch said Davis’ “passion for Auburn and love for the Auburn family” has inspired many Auburn celebrations that have occurred for decades.

Davis was a part of the Tigers on the Prowl project, which put the big tiger statues at businesses around town; Toomer’s 2000, the New Year’s celebration that had a huge Tiger Tail drop at midnight, and Blessing on the Corner, where the community comes together to pray at Toomer’s Corner.

“These are all evidence of her creativity and commitment to the Auburn family and her true desire to bring us together,” Crouch said.

For Toomer’s 2000, Davis stayed up all night helping others put the fabric on the tiger tail and she said she felt a “real sense of community.”

“I had several people yesterday and last night say to me, ‘Can we do that again, yet?’” Davis laughed.

Blessing on the Corner, which has been around for about a decade, occurs every fall at the beginning of the football season, and Davis said various community ministers and clergymen from different churches come to bless Toomer’s Corner.

“I wouldn’t trade a day for living anywhere else,” Davis said.

Davis was born in Dothan, Ala., and grew up in Miami. She came to Auburn for college and graduated in 1975, then attended Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham.

After graduating from law school, Davis got married, returned to Auburn and started her practice in 1978.

Davis specializes in real estate development, corporate law and estate planning, and she said she’s had a special interest in working with the developers of downtown Auburn.

Davis said her favorite part of the job is the people.

“The best part of being an attorney, especially in Auburn, has been working with wonderful clients and people in our community,” Davis said. “You feel like you’re so much a part of their lives, their dreams, their plans, their family life. It’s been a dream because, again, it’s a small town. You grow up with your clients, you help them start a business, you take care of their planning needs.”

Davis said receiving the Ham Lifetime Impact Award is “extremely special,” especially because it’s named after her friend Bill Ham.

“I had the pleasure of working with and supporting his whole career,” she said. “I worked with him, not only when he was mayor, but as my clients had projects with the city. Also, he and Carolyn are friends of Grant’s and mine.”

Davis’ husband Grant worked for Auburn University in student affairs and administration and retired about two years ago.

They have two daughters and six grandchildren, three of whom attend Lee-Scott Academy. Davis said her two daughters and their husbands are all Auburn graduates.

Davis said she’s decided to start working part time so she can attend her grandchildren’s extracurricular activities.

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