Life at GU - President's Bio

President Suzanne Davis

Suzanne Davis assumed presidency of Greenville University in January 2021. She previously served GU in various capacities, including management professor, founding dean of the Briner School of Business, vice president for university relations, executive vice president, and acting president.  

Suzanne brings a wealth of experience in higher education, management, and law to leadership at GU. As an administrator, she:

  • led the effort to secure GU’s accreditation in the areas of finance, operations, and governance;
  • managed the reorganization of enrollment, marketing, and international affairs;
  • oversaw GU’s finance office, financial aid, and athletics; and
  • established a president’s council that facilitates input from throughout the campus community.

In May 2020, with the departure of GU’s twelfth president, Ivan Filby, GU’s Board of Trustees appointed Suzanne acting president. In that capacity, she:

  • secured a partnership with the University of Illinois-Champaign for COVID-19 testing during the pandemic, which allowed GU to remain open for face-to-face classes when other universities nationwide could not;
  • promoted experiential learning for students, including establishment of GU’s Experience Institute and Experience Hub on campus;
  • championed connection, collaboration, and innovation, including further development of Greenville SMART initiatives and the SMART Center on Greenville’s historic square; and
  • expanded hands-on learning opportunities for students with GU’s acquisition of the Contemporary Music Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Suzanne knows the power of a liberal arts degree combined with practical work experience. She graduated from Greenville University (then College) in 2000 with a bachelor of arts in history and political science, and a bachelor of arts in philosophy and religion. She earned her MBA from the University of Illinois College of Business and her juris doctorate from University of Illinois College of Law. 

She practiced civil and criminal law and taught at Eastern Illinois University’s School of Business before returning to GU in 2012 to teach.

Greenville University’s hallmark emphasis on strong character, faith, broad learning, and service resonates with Suzanne. She values opportunities GU afforded her to grow academically, as an athlete, personally, and in her faith.

“GU’s history is full of stories like mine from alumni of every era. I want generations more to tell such stories,” she says.

In addition to her leadership duties at GU, Suzanne serves on several boards, including Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and HSHS Holy Family Hospital in Greenville, Illinois.

She and husband Phil (GU Class of 1996) are the parents of two daughters, Tiffany and Brittany.