Scholarships and Fellowships

Earning a Master of Business Administration is no easy task. But Deborah Dawson was faced with an additional challenge: finishing her M.B.A. while raising her young son alone. That’s why, when Dawson (GSM’82) decided to donate to her alma mater, she created a fellowship at the Graduate School of Management that offers preference to single mothers and other women. “I had a great career because of BU, and I feel indebted to the University,” says Dawson. “So I want to give something back.” Dawson’s story starts in Vermont, where she moved with her husband after dropping out of college and getting married young. “It was sort of a bohemian lifestyle,” she remembers. But when Dawson’s husband died, leaving her a thirty-year-old single mother of a six-year-old boy, she had to leave that lifestyle behind. Her next stop was Boston, where she took a job in marketing. “I quickly realized that I was never going to get anywhere without some kind of credentials,” says Dawson. “Somehow, I got it in my head that it would be a good idea to have an M.B.A. and I felt I would be best served at Boston University, which had a broader range and more flexible program for me.” After obtaining a high GMAT score, Dawson was interviewed by a dean at SMG. “He said, “It really would be a waste of your time to go back and get an undergraduate degree. We’ll see if we can let you into BU as a graduate student,’ which they did.” “It was hard,” she admits, trying to reconcile her course load and class schedule with the demands of being a single mother, but with loans to pay her tuition and with a strong work ethic, Dawson finished her M.B.A. in two and a half years.

Deborah Dawson (GSM’82)

The Deborah Scott Dawson Fellowship’s first recipient, Ifeoma Ezeh (GSM’06), says she was able to accept BU’s offer of admission because of the Dawson scholarship. “She’s an incredibly driven, outgoing, idealistic young woman,” says Dawson of Ezeh, whom she met at a ceremony for the award. “I’m very proud of her.” Now, Ezeh is preparing for three years in West Africa, where she will serve as assistant director of administration for the Peace Corps Benin. In addition to helping other women achieve their goals, Dawson’s fellowship is her link to BU and Boston, as her home is in Connecticut. “I have a great affinity for Boston,” says Dawson. “I miss it, and it’s a nice connection to have.”
–Alyce Nicolo



| SPRING 2008

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