The Davenport Memorial Room was given to the University by Davenport family members and friends to honor the memory of Frederick M. Davenport (1866-1956) who was elected to the United States Congress serving from 1925-33. He was president of the National Institute of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., 1934-49, and chairman of the Federal Personnel Council from 1939 until his retirement in 1953. He was father-in-law of Ernest Griffith, founding Dean of the School of International Service.
Since the founding of the School of International Service in 1957, the space called the Davenport Memorial Room has been dedicated to special use in fostering a sense of community among all people associated with the School including diverse faiths, races, cultures, and languages. In the earliest days, it served as an interdenominational chapel, but with the completion of the Kay Spiritual Life Center, SIS students and volunteers transformed the Davenport Room into a special place for reading, study, socializing, and maintaining a vibrant and hospitable community. Today, the Davenport Lounge is managed by students and volunteers who provide music, books, refreshment, and a selection of international coffees.
To assure that a new Davenport Lounge is part of the new SIS building, gifts have been given for the new Davenport Lounge. The lounge will be retained in the new SIS building as a distinctive gathering place enhanced by an outdoor lounge courtyard. The New Davenport Lounge Fund can receive smaller gifts toward the new building, and to date several hundred gifts have been made in a total of over $30,000. Small and larger gifts are welcome toward the 1 million dollar overall goal set for the New Davenport Lounge. The names of all donors of $1000 or more will be listed on a permanent roster of donors in the Lounge. The Fund will be featured in upcoming appeals to recent graduates and younger alumni. As has occurred many times in the past, SIS students have taken the lead in helping to jump-start the University's efforts for an initiative, in this case, for the New Davenport Lounge in the new SIS building.