Davis Foundation's Gift to Strengthen WBFO 88.7 FM

By Jed Nitzberg

Release Date: December 9, 1996 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A gift from the Donald L. Davis Foundation of Amherst has created the Don Davis Auto World Fund for WBFO 88.7 FM, the National Public Radio affiliate operated by the University at Buffalo. The gift, the largest in the station's history, will allow the station to develop new programming and buy new equipment.

According to Don Davis, the retired founder of Don Davis Auto World, Inc., his gifts to the university have been made with the goal of benefiting all of Western New York.

"We're interested in the whole community, that there should be something of benefit for the community at large," he said. Davis encouraged others in the community to make their own gifts to the station, as well as to become regular listeners.

"Don and Esther Davis have been friends of the University at Buffalo for a long time," said UB President William R. Greiner. "Their lasting contributions to UB have helped us put our best resources to work for Western New York."

"Their latest generous gift does just that -- helps us extend the value and impact of WBFO, which is one of UB's finest community resources. We are deeply, deeply grateful to Don and Esther. Their commitment to both the university and the region we serve means a great deal to UB, and also to thousands of WBFO and NPR listeners."

The fund will be used to support locally produced public-affairs and arts programming broadcast by the station. The income generated by the fund also will be used to improve the sound quality of WBFO's signal by providing money to buy state-of-the-art production and broadcast equipment.

"The entire staff at WBFO is absolutely thrilled that Don and Esther Davis chose this station as a public service worthy of their very generous support," said Jennifer Roth, the station1s general manager.

"An endowment for WBFO has been one of our high hopes for a long while, now more than ever given declining governmental support for public broadcasting. The Don Davis Auto World Fund will strengthen the station's financial security and will enable us to continue improving the quality of our programming."

Don Davis was born and raised in Buffalo and attended UB. He started his auto dealership in 1958. It now is being operated by his son, John.

Davis hopes that this gift to WBFO will "in some way pay back" the community "that has done so much for me and my family."

His foundation made a similar gift to UB in 1989 that created the Don Davis Auto World Endowed Lectureship Fund, which supports the university's annual Distinguished Speakers Series. The series has brought many notable figures to campus, including former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, astronomer Carl Sagan and broadcast journalist Sam Donaldson. The next speaker for the 1996-1997 academic year will be Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison, who will speak on April 24, 1997.