Dawson Library History
Biography of Captain David Powell Dawson
David Dawson was born at Pontiac, Michigan on 4 December 1964. In 1980 his family moved to Concord, Massachusetts, where he graduated from the Concord-Carlisle High School with an academic gold medal in 1982, and was awarded a four-year US Navy ROTC Scholarship. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was in the Freshmen Honors Program, was on the Dean's List every semester, and received the Josephus Daniels Scholarship Award for the senior midshipman with the highest grade point average in academic subjects. In 1986, when he graduated and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the US Marine Corps, he received the physics department prize as well as the 2nd Lieutenant Richard S. Johnson, Jr. Memorial Marine Sword for outstanding leadership. He had been elected to Phi Beta Kappa (Phi Eta Sigma) in his junior year. He was Midshipman Battalion Commander of the NROTC Unit at the University as well as President of the Semper Fidelis Society.
From 1986 until 1992 he was assigned to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. His last assignment there was as Platoon Commander, 2nd Force Reconnaisance Company, 2nd S.R.I. Group; his most cherished award was the honorary paddle he received from the Marines in his platoon. After nomination by the US Defense Department and selection by the Olmsted Foundation as an Olmsted Scholar, he was assigned for one year to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, where he was trained intensively in German and received the Commandant's Award. In May 1993 he moved to Konstanz, Germany to live as a civilian, gain insight from the European people and travel extensively during pursuit of his graduate study. As he completed his alpine experience with expert German friends, he eagerly anticipated his return to the regular business of the Marine Corps.
Dave died accidentally on Saturday, May 6, 1995 after reaching the summit of Dufour Spitze of Monte Rosa at Zermatt, Switzerland. In the process of winding up his special assignment as an Olmsted Scholar doing graduate study in international relations at the University of Konstanz, Germany, he was preparing to report to Camp Pendleton in California. He was the son of Donald and Patricia (Powell) Dawson of Rockport, Massachusetts, the brother of Paul Dawson and Andrea Lynn Dawson.