Dr. Peter P. Dawson

Dr. Peter P. Dawson

Dr. Peter P. Dawson is a Professor of Organizational Behavior Emeritus and a retired Air Force Colonel. He was a prominent Professor in the College of Business at Cal Poly, Pomona for twenty-three years. He published several books in the field of business systems and organizational behavior. Dr. Dawson designed several unique experiential exercises and a business simulation for which he received the Freedom Foundation’s Leavey Award for Excellence in Free Enterprise Education. He was a consultant to several major corporations.

He is best known for his devotion to the over 600 students he taught. Twelve graduating classes selected him as their favorite professor, and in 1988, he was selected as the University’s outstanding professor. Dawson is a Certified Data Processor, a member of: Phi Beta Kappa, the Academy of Management, the Operations Research Sopciety of America, and the Organizational Behavior Teaching Society.

Dawson enlisted in the Army a year before the Pearl Harbor attack and was among the first 300 navigators commissioned in the Air Corps. He was a pioneer in the Air Force Navigator Training program and served in every capacity from navigation instructor to Headquarters’ USAF staff navigator training officer. He attained the rank of Colonel at age thirty-five. Dawson also served in England during World War II, in China as an adivsor to the Chinese Nationalist Air Force, and in Germany as Base Commander of the 49th Tactical Figher Wing. Dawson spent his last five years in the Air Force as the Director of Planning and Research at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, an institution dedicated to the advanced management education of senior government officers. He consulted with government, business, and academic leaders in 48 countries.

Follwing the death of his immigrant father in Des Moines, Iowa, during the Great Depression, Dawson began working to help support himself at the age of twelve. He partially financed his education with money earned as a paperboy, messenger, janitor, dishwasher and waiter. He completed his undergraduate work in mathematics at the University of Iowa before his twenty-first-birhtday. He obtained a Doctor of Business Administration degree from the George Washington University and completed the Stanford University Executive Program.


Comments from 2014-15 scholarship recipients -

“This award not only brings financial help but provides me with motivation to strive for my ultimate goal and that is to be the first (in my family) to graduate from a university….Your generosity is truly appreciated and inspires me to continue to work hard so that one day, I too can give to those in need.”

" I would like to thank you (Dr. Dawson) once again for your generous donation. It is inspiring to see successful professionals, such as yourself, giving to young, aspiring business students, such as myself. Thank you for investing in my education.."