Remembering Eric Davis (1939–2022)

From the time he joined Commonwealth’s faculty in the fall of 1972 until his retirement in the spring of 2013, Eric Davis embodied much of what Commonwealth stands for. He loved language, ideas, and working with teenagers in equal measure. Current students who never met him nevertheless know him through institutions like his “How to Write a Good Paragraph,” still used in English 9. And generations of Commonwealth alumni/ae and colleagues “felt the grace of [his] wisdom and mischievous wit” (so wrote Polly Chatfield about Eric when he retired).



A Tribute to Eric Davis

On Saturday, April 22, 2023, generations of Commonwealth alumni/ae and friends gathered at First Church in Boston to pay tribute to Eric Davis, alongside his family. Step (back) inside that extraordinary afternoon. 

Watch video


When Eric passed away in July, our community lost a giant. We created this space to remember him and the indelible mark he left on us as a school and as individuals. We will send more information to our community about opportunities to honor Eric and celebrate his life via email. In the interim, we send our sympathy and love to his wife, Judith Siporin, herself a forty-three-year veteran Commonwealth teacher who, like Eric, is truly part of our school's DNA; his children, John Davis '89, Theo Davis '90, and Sam Davis '08; and their families.
We hope you will share your memories of Eric using the form on this page or by emailing You can also revel in Eric's wit and wisdom below, from his "senior speech" to Quote of the Week submissions to a hand-written list of favorite Gab topics to a collection of advice every graduating senior (at Commonwealth or anywhere) would do well to remember, amongst other treasures. 


"Senior Speech"


Share Your Memories

You are welcome to share a favorite memory or tribute to Eric using the form on this page or by emailing Submissions may be shared with our community, with attribution.

Read Tributes


Your namerequired
First Name
Last Name
Attach up to 1 file with a maximum size of 10MB
No file chosen



Wit and Wisdom

Cover image credit: Tom Kates '87


Image credit: Tom Kates '87