In memoriam

College mourns passing of Hugh Davis and Stephen Hardy

Hugh C. Davis

two men talking

Dr. Hugh C. Davis (right) shares a laugh with Dr. Lowell Hammer, professor emeritus of communicative disorders, at the college’s 50th anniversary gala in 2008.

Hugh C. Davis Jr., Ph.D., professor emeritus and a founding faculty member in the department of clinical and health psychology, passed away January 10 in Jupiter, Florida.

Davis joined UF in 1960 and, along with Nathan Perry, Ph.D., helped found the department’s Psychology Clinic, one of the earliest and most comprehensive of its kind in the U.S. They also led the development of the department’s internship program, which was the first in Florida to achieve accreditation.

As the department’s director of clinical training, Davis supervised the clinical practice and directed the graduate program.

“He used humor and a folksy style to engage and challenge trainees,” said Michael G. Perri, Ph.D., dean of the college. “Though initially intimidated by his provocative approach to helping them develop insights into their relationships with patients, students found that they benefitted enormously from his Socratic methods and his thoughtful guidance.”

Davis served as president of the Florida Psychological Association and for many years served on the Florida State Board of Examiners of Psychology, including as chair. After his retirement in 1995, the department created the Hugh C. Davis Award for Excellence in Clinical Supervision.

Retirement gave Davis more time to spend on his many interests, including working on sports cars, sailing, golfing and enjoying jazz music.

“Hugh was an engaging storyteller who always had an interesting anecdote to illustrate a point or illuminate an alternative perspective,” Perri said. “He was a colorful individual and a delightful colleague.”

Stephen J. Hardy

Stephen Hardy headshotStephen J. Hardy, a lecturer in the department of speech, language, and hearing sciences, passed away January 8.

“Stephen was a truly kind and gentle man who was beloved by all who knew him,” said Dean Michael G. Perri. “He was dedicated to his students and passionate in teaching others about Deaf culture. Stephen will be greatly missed and long remembered.”

A member of the PHHP faculty since 2015, Hardy taught courses in American Sign Language and Deaf Culture. He also served as the advisor for the UF chapter of the American Sign Language Honor Society and for the social Deaf culture club, Signing Gators. He taught American Sign Language, ASL linguistics, and Deaf studies for more than 18 years at the collegiate level, including 12 years at Santa Fe College.

A double Gator, he earned a B.A. in political science and an M.Ed. from UF. He served in several leadership positions at the county and state level, including as president of the Florida Association of the Deaf, member of the Florida Rehabilitation Council, legislative chair for the Florida Association of the Deaf Inc., and member and advisor of the North Central Florida Signing Alliance. He provided service to the campus community as a commencement marshal and ASL coordinator for the national anthem at all home football games.

On social media, hundreds of colleagues, former students and friends shared comments mourning the loss of a leader in the Deaf community and much-loved instructor who impacted many lives.