- State College Area School District
- Distinguished Alumni
2011 Donald W. Davis
In the 21 years he spent as president and chief executive, Donald W. Davis transformed The Stanley Works from a tradition-bound New England tool manufacturer into an international pioneer in the do-it-yourself hardware business. Under his leadership the company’s work force doubled to nearly 20,000, and its revenue grew from $230 million to $1.9 billion.
He modernized and expanded the company by adding product lines, overhauling marketing operations, buying 25 other tool manufacturers, and obtaining a listing on the New York Stock Exchange. He also shifted Stanley's focus from industrial supply to the do-it-yourself market and even coined the company motto, “Stanley helps you do things right,” which dominated its advertising for years.
By the time Don Davis stepped down at Stanley, the company bore little resemblance to the one he had taken over in the early 1960s. Stanley had not merely survived under his helm; it had flourished .
He served as president of several national trade associations and was a member of the boards of multiple commercial and charitable endeavors, in addition to endowing several Penn State scholarships and funds. He created the Donald W. Davis Symposium in Advertising Ethics and established the Don Davis Professorship in Ethics.
For 20 years, he taught leadership, ethics, and public policy at Leaders for Manufacturing in MIT’s dual-master’s degree program.
During World War II, he served as a Lieutenant in the U. S. Navy.