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Leonard Dawson

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Information about Leonard Dawson

Profile image of Leonard Dawson

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Academic Administrator
Education Consultant

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Greens (Collard)
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
2/5/1934
Birth Location:
Augusta, Georgia

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Academic Administrator
Education Consultant

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Greens (Collard)
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
2/5/1934
Birth Location:
Augusta
See how Leonard Dawson is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Educational consultant and former college president Leonard E. Dawson was born on February 5, 1934, in Augusta, Georgia. His parents, through hard work, managed to send all five of their children to college on a modest income. Dawson first attended Morris Brown College in Atlanta, where he earned a B.A. in English in 1954. He would later earn an M.A. in guidance and counseling from Columbia University in 1961 and an Ed.D. from George Washington University with a focus on counselor education in 1974.

Following his graduation from Morris Brown College, Dawson found a job teaching at Carver High School in Hamilton, Georgia, and in 1956 he joined the U.S. Army. Following an honorable discharge, Dawson returned to teaching, and by 1964, he was the head counselor at Johnson Junior High School in his hometown of Augusta. In 1967, Dawson joined the staff of Paine College, where he became the dean of academics in 1969. He went to work for the United States Department of Education in 1970, and the following year he became a senior program officer at the R.R. Moten Memorial Institute, working extensively with the federal government and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Dawson became the executive vice president of the Moton Institute in 1977, and in 1980, he left to become the director of special projects for the United Negro College Fund. In 1985, Dawson was named president of Voorhees College, where he served until retiring in 2001. While at Voorhees, Dawson worked to erase a massive deficit along with doubling the size of Voorhees’ student enrollment. In 2001, Dawson was named a senior consultant to the White House Initiative on HBCUs.

Dawson is active in a number of professional and civic organizations, including the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, the National Education Association and the Third Street Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. In 2001, he was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor in the state, by the governor of South Carolina.

Dawson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 13, 2003.

See how Leonard Dawson is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Leonard Dawson's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Leonard Dawson lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Leonard Dawson talks about his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Leonard Dawson talks about his father and paternal family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Leonard Dawson talks about his parents' move to Augusta, Georgia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Leonard Dawson describes his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Leonard Dawson talks about his parents' schooling
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Leonard Dawson lists his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Leonard Dawson describes growing up in Augusta, Georgia, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Leonard Dawson describes growing up in Augusta, Georgia, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Leonard Dawson recalls being a mischievous child
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Leonard Dawson remembers growing up in a segregated community and attending an A.M.E. church
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Leonard Dawson talks about R&B musician James Brown
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Leonard Dawson talks about the educational opportunities available to black students in Augusta, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Leonard Dawson talks about attending Charles T. Walker Elementary School in Augusta, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Leonard Dawson talks about attending Haines Institute in Augusta, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Leonard Dawson recalls the faculty at Haines Institute in Augusta, Georgia pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Leonard Dawson recalls the faculty at Haines Institute in Augusta, Georgia pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Leonard Dawson talks about his high school activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Leonard Dawson talks about growing up in an all-black community in Augusta, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Leonard Dawson talks about the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Leonard Dawson talks about attending Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Leonard Dawson talks about his professors at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Leonard Dawson describes teaching and serving in the U.S. Army after graduating from Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Leonard Dawson talks about receiving his M.A. degree from Columbia University in New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Leonard Dawson talks about counseling and directing the Upward Bound program at Paine College in Augusta, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Leonard Dawson talks about the Moton Memorial Institute
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Leonard Dawson talks about working for the United Negro College Fund
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Leonard Dawson talks about becoming the president of Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Leonard Dawson describes the start of Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Leonard Dawson describes how Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina became an Episcopal school
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Leonard Dawson describes the problems at Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina when he arrived in 1985
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Leonard Dawson describes working to improve the financial standing of Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina as president
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Leonard Dawson talks about campus improvements and increased enrollment at during his tenure at Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Leonard Dawson talks about retiring from Voorhees College and being invited to work for the U.S. Department of Education
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Leonard Dawson describes his work at the U.S. Department of Education
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Leonard Dawson describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Leonard Dawson considers his legacy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Leonard Dawson considers what he might have done differently
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Leonard Dawson describes how he would like to be remembered