Bernard Society Student Activities

The Mathematics and Computer Science Department confers the honor of membership in the Bernard Society of Mathematics on departmental majors and others with outstanding interest and ability in mathematics or computer science. The society's activities and assistance, supported by the Bernard Society Endowment and funded by gifts from alumni, faculty, and friends include:

  • The Bernard Lecture along with a banquet for juniors, seniors, and faculty featuring a prominent authority on mathematics or computer science
  • Math Coffees and other departmental events
  • Facilitating student research and participation at conferences
  • Encouraging student participation in competitions of regional, national, and international scope
  • Student copies of Math Horizons, the undergraduate magazine of the Mathematical Association of America
  • Publishing the Bernard Society Review, our newsletter for students and alumni
  • Support of innovation in mathematical activity, instruction, research, and outreach by Davidson students and faculty

In short, the Bernard Society promotes interest and activity in mathematics, encouraging students to emulate Professor Bernard's exemplary dedication to the discipline.

Richard Ryerson Bernard (1917-1997)

After receiving a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, Professor Bernard began his college teaching career at Yale, but returned south in 1955 to join the Davidson faculty. His Davidson career spanned a quarter of a century during which he taught countless Davidson undergraduates the lessons of instruction by example, clear thinking, compassion, good humor, and gracious manners. He initiated the Math Coffee series, and in 1957 designed and taught the first course in topology at Davidson. Named the first Vail Professor of Mathematics, Dr. Bernard received a Senior Fellowship from the National Science Foundation and was honored with the Thomas Jefferson Award for teaching excellence at Davidson.

The Bernard Endowment

Davidson College and the Mathematics and Computer Science Department deeply appreciate the generosity of the founders and the continuing supporters of the Bernard Society of Mathematics and welcome contributions to the Bernard Society Endowment. Inquiries may be made through the college's Giving website, or by contacting the department chair.