Ramone Davenport, our Director, was a two-sport star athlete all four years of high school. Like most star athletes, his dream was to play in the major leagues. Ever the realist, he knew it would take focus and discipline to make this dream a reality.
All was going well until an ominous event changed his career trajectory. Mr. Davenport’s high school coach kept Division 1 letters for football and baseball scholarships from him until it was too late to apply.
His determination to play college football led him to a less than Division 1 school, Muskingum University. Muskingum’s campus is surrounded by the farmland of Scottish and Irish Presbyterians. Even in the early 1990s, this college campus fostered a harsh climate for equity. Mr. Davenport was one of the first African American students to attend Muskingum.
Mr. Davenport said, “As a black kid coming from the inner-city, it was a big deal for me to come to this university in the farm country of East Central Ohio. During my time here, people told me, ‘You will never make it.’ They asked, “Why did you come here?” They taunted him with names that civil people do not use.
Despite this untenable experience, walking across the stage to receive his diploma was one of the greatest achievements of his life. He shares, “The school allowed me to develop my skills, and give back to society. It has led me to where I am today, leading students who look like me.”
On October 19, 2019, Mr. Davenport was recognized with a 2019 Muskingum Alumni Distinguished Service Award. Jeff Haecock, Associate Vice-President of Institutional Advancement, presented this award to Mr. Davenport for “Providing value-driven leadership for at-risk youth. He is a model for Dohn students, mentoring them to success through positive action, responsibility, and respect.”
Today, Ramone Davenport is a world-class urban youth educator. Our staff, our students, their families, and our Dohn community recognize his value to our school and our city. Dohn’s growth and success come from his visionary leadership, his practical realism, and the living wisdom and compassion that he radiates to students who look like him.
We celebrate that Muskingum University recognizes Mr. Davenport and his career with this Distinguished Service Award. To us, he is always MVP.