Almost every Union student recognizes Phyllis Davenport as one of the ladies who always stood at the back door of chapel swiping student identification cards.
After nearly 31 years of employment, Davenport has retired from her job at Union as the chapel facilitator and coordinator for campus events.
Davenport began her time at Union doing some of the same responsibilities Tina Netland, administrative assistant to the vice president for student life and dean of students, is in charge of now.
According to Brian Carrier, vice president for student life and dean of students, Davenport did a little bit of everything during her time at Union.
“Mrs. Phyllis used to be in charge of the Residence Life department, back when they had dorm moms,” Carrier said. “She was in charge of all of the housing assignments.”
Most recently, Davenport’s responsibilities included chapel facilitation which involved the oversight of students fulfilling their chapel requirements.
“I always knew I would see Mrs. Davenport when I went to chapel,” said Mallory Baker, senior exercise science major. “She was always so sweet and talkative as she would swipe our cards.”
Davenport’s job required a lot of coordination and work behind the scenes as she worked individually with students for chapel attendance. She also dealt with all of the internal and external university reservations for campus events excluding those that took place at the Carl Grant Events Center.
“Phyllis is a dearly loved person to Union,” Carrier said. “She was involved in things that were beyond what her position called for. She and her husband are boosters for Union’s athletic program, as they are heavily involved with the women’s basketball team.”
Davenport’s husband, Amos J. Davenport Jr., was recently inducted into the Union Sports Hall of Fame on Feb. 13 for his service to the women’s basketball team over the years. Davenport was a bus driver and video recorder for the Lady Bulldogs dating back to 1985.
“That is indicative of the type of people the Davenports are,” Carrier said. “I have a deep appreciation for Phyllis and the job that she did, as significant as her job was. But I am also appreciative for the lives that she impacted, as that went way beyond her job responsibilities.”
As a result of the Davenport’s involvement with the basketball program, Mark Campbell, head women’s basketball coach, has created a very close and unique friendship with the Davenports during his 21 years at Union.
“The Davenports have loved our student-athletes for three decades and their love has reinforced the message we are trying to live out as coaches, to demonstrate the love of Jesus,” Campbell said. “I cannot think of a better example on our campus of someone being ‘People Focused’ than Amos and Phyllis Davenport. It is obvious they have lived out their design in this community and it makes many of us thankful to God for the pleasure of knowing them, the pleasure of working with Phyllis and the privilege of watching them serve.”