Fund created in memory of UGA law school’s first Black grad

The University of Georgia has established an endowment in memory of the law school’s first Black graduate, who died in August.

The Chester C. Davenport Memorial Endowment Fund will support scholarships and fellowships for incoming students in the School of Law who have graduated from historically Black colleges and universities in Georgia.

“We are proud to establish the Chester C. Davenport Memorial Endowment Fund as a tribute to such a notable alumnus,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead in a news release. “The new scholarships and fellowships it creates will help us recruit outstanding students from diverse backgrounds who have the potential to bring great distinction to our institution through their lives and careers, just as Mr. Davenport did.”

Davenport earned his law degree in 1966, finishing in the top 5% of his class, the university said. As a student, he also served as a founding member of the editorial board for the Georgia Law Review.

After law school, Davenport worked as an attorney in the tax division of the U.S. Department of Justice and served as a legislative assistant for U.S. Sen. Alan Cranston, a Democrat from California. He later started Georgetown Partners, a private equity firm.

School of Law Dean Peter B. Rutledge said Davenport will “always be a seminal figure in out school’s history.”

“Chester was a trailblazer who achieved much in his lifetime, including the diversification of our law school and the legal profession,” Rutledge said.. “It is with tremendous pride that we will award scholarships and fellowships to those who will follow in his footsteps and carry on his legacy of service to state and society.”

The inaugural recipients of the fund are expected to enroll in fall 2021.