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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Invaluable advice for young (and not-so-young) adults
Thoughts on the magnolia tree
From "Fun with Soap Pads" to "New Uses for Hamsters"
Reflections on Eric's retirement
"Think like a dog and bark" and other gems
Cover image credit: Tom Kates '87