Dan Davidson, director of portfolio management for BBVA Compass in Birmingham, has been actively engaged with the Harbert College of Business since earning an accounting degree in 1987. He and his wife established the Dan and Regan Davidson Fund for Excellence and have been members of the college's Shareholders' Club since 2005. Davidson has also served as a member of the Dean's Advisory Council.
Q: What is the best memory that you have from your time at Auburn?
A: There are many great memories from my time at Auburn. Several of them revolve around football games (e.g., Lawyer Tillman’s reverse, Bo Jackson’s 250 yards rushing in the driving rain to beat Alabama, etc.). Ironically, a game we lost sticks out above the rest. Georgia was No. 1, as I recall, in 1982 but we played them off their feet and lost in the waning seconds deep in Georgia territory when time simply ran out on Auburn. Despite the loss, the crowd chanted loudly “It’s great, to be, an Auburn Tiger!” long after the game had ended. I believe that cheer was actually born that day after a loss. We were so proud of our team’s effort. Coach Dye later noted that the players could still hear that chant while getting dressed in the locker room. Auburn went on to beat Bama two weeks later for the first time in 10 years. Such is the Auburn Spirit, a spirit that cannot be explained, only understood by those of us fortunate enough to possess it.
Besides great football games, my best memories are of simply hanging out with fraternity brothers and finding things to laugh at, usually ourselves. Some of the funniest and most creative people I have ever known in my life I met at Auburn.
Q: Did you have a favorite professor in the College of Business? What did he/she do that made an impact on you?
A: Dr. Wayne C. Alderman was my favorite professor while at Auburn. I did not do particularly well in his accounting courses, but he was a great teacher and I felt like I learned even though my grades did not necessarily reflect it. I knew he cared about my personal success and well being, whether or not I pursued a career in accounting. Despite my struggles, I came away more confident that I could be a success in life.
Q: What one class would you say had the most impact on your career?
A: As a portfolio manager, I still use many of the concepts learned in my Principles of Finance and Investments courses. The fundamentals learned then are still true today.
Q: You have an endowed fund with the college and also participate in annual giving? Why is it important for you to give back to the college, especially through the Shareholders’ Club?
A: I give to the Harbert College of Business because I appreciate the education I received there and the discipline it helped me develop. I understand how quickly things change in the business world and how essential it is for the college to stay on the cutting edge in order for our students to remain competitive and desirable. Perhaps above all, I give to the college because I am competitive and I want Auburn, my university, to be the best it can be, whether on the football field or in the classroom. The Shareholders’ Club is an easy way for me to give back over time so that others can benefit from a great education like I have.
Q: What makes you most proud when you think of the Harbert College of Business?
A: The Harbert College of Business makes me proud because it has already achieved so much (e.g., top 30 public undergraduate business college ranking) with relatively limited resources. One can only imagine what heights we can achieve if other alumni and friends follow the lead of Dean Bill Hardgrave and Raymond Harbert by generously supporting the College and its intention to become one of the very best public university business colleges in the United States.