- Distinguished Alumni Service Award (1980)
Martha Eaton Dawson is a talented, creative, energetic woman, and a national leader in the field of multicultural education. Inspired to the pursuit of excellence by her family and teachers, she earned two graduate degrees in Education at Indiana University and quickly established herself as a dedicated teacher with a deep concern for the welfare of elementary students.
Recognizing that it is imperative that teachers be cognizant of the factors in a community which might limit the intellectual growth of children, she turned to the development of courses to train teachers to be highly skilled in human engineering with a deep insight into the cultural heritage, as well as the emotional, social and economic background, of their students. Dr. Dawson organized and developed the first totally non-graded laboratory school in the mid-south, which gave a new look to an old idea, and she established programs to help teachers perceive children and assisted institutions in the evaluation of their teachers.
The impact of her research, teaching and leadership brought her significant recognition and citations for excellence of performance. As Vice President for Academic Affairs at Hampton Institute she stood tall in the academic world, honored by her peers, beloved by her students, and wholly committed to education in its broadest aspects.