Orange County celebrated the life and legacy of Bonnie B. Davis at a special ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Bonnie B. Davis Environment and Agricultural Center on Friday, Aug. 20.
Family members, friends and community leaders gathered to honor a woman who served the county as an extension agent for 40 years. Davis was Orange County’s first Black agricultural extension agent, but her impact went well beyond her duties for Cooperative Extension. She died in 2018 at the age of 92.
“Today we are remembering, honoring and celebrating a remarkable and beautiful woman, the late Bonnie B. Davis,” said Orange County Chair Renee Price. “Oftentimes buildings are named for individuals who have donated a sum of money to an institution. Ms. Bonnie B. Davis gave something of greater value. She gave us her heart, her soul and her love to the family, friends and community of Orange County.”
Price noted the center is the first county building to be named for a Black woman in Orange County, a fitting tribute to a person who dedicated her professional and personal life to improving the lives of others. After retiring, she remained active in the county, serving as one of the founding members of the Friends of Orange County DSS and winning the Pauli Murray Award for her service in pursuit of justice, equality and human rights for all citizens.
“She was a trailblazer, breaking barriers and making our world more just and equitable,” said Price. “Naming this building in honor of Mrs. Davis is but one way we can keep her spirit alive.”
The Board of Commissioners voted unanimously in March to name the building for Ms. Davis after a community-driven campaign led by many of her former students, colleagues and friends.
Photos from the event.