In Memoriam: Helen Rose Dawson, 1927-2022

Helen Rose Dawson, a former dean and vice president of what is now Stevenson Unversity in Maryland, died from complications of a stroke on July 14 at her home in Madison, Connecticut. She was 94 years old.

Dr. Dawson grew up in Rockville, Maryland. After she graduated from high school in 1945, she entered a convent and became a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur, remaining a member of the order until 1980. She earned a master’s degree from Fordham University and a doctorate in education from Nova Southeastern University.

After serving as a teacher and administrator in Catholic K-12 schools, she became a faculty member and department chair at Trinity College in Washington, D.C. An academic colleague at Trinity College – Carolyn Manuszak – would later be appointed to serve as president of Villa Julie College. In 1965, Manuszak asked Rose Dawson to serve as Villa Julie College’s academic dean.

When Dr. Dawson arrived in 1965, Villa Julie was a two-year college with fewer than 100 students. At her retirement in 1999, Villa Julie was reaccredited as a four-year college offering associate, baccalaureate, and master’s degree programs to more than 2,000 students. The college became Stevenson University in 2008.

“Rose was a strong, wise, pragmatic, compassionate, and humble leader who brought out the best in people,” said Susan T. Gorman, executive vice president and provost at Stevenson University. “Her exacting but reasonable expectations, firm but gentle hand, and unwavering commitment to education helped shape the trajectory of the countless lives she touched, my own included. She gave selflessly of her gifts and talents throughout her life, and in so doing Rose made Stevenson University and indeed the world a better place.”

Filed Under: In Memoriam


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply