Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Distinguished Alumni

James Dawson

James P. Dawson - 1978

A native of Weatherford, James P. Dawson is executive vice-president and chief executive officer of the Oklahoma Foundation for Research and Development Utilization, Inc., a non-profit computer research group.

He was graduated from Southwestern in 1955 with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and mathematics, and he holds a diploma in pastoral ministries from the Southern Baptist Seminary Extension. 

Several projects are currently being conducted by Dawson’s foundation, one of the most important being the impact analyses of every water and sewer system in the United States serving a population over 2,000.  In addition, an attempt is being made to determine “nonpoint pollution sources.”  Every 40-acre tract in Oklahoma has been defined in the foundation computer as to its current land use, location, elevation, drainage basin, and soil composition. 

The foundation also has entered the entire Bible into is computer to assist ministers and study groups on retrieving complete scripture references to selected topics.  Before joining the foundation, Dawson was for 18 months a special assistant to the governor of Oklahoma for community affairs and planning, and prior to that he was president of the Scientific Specialties Corp. 

From 1962 to 1969 he was employed in the nation’s space program, first as chief of the Radiation Physics Section at the Aerospace Environmental Facility, Arnold Air Force Station, and then as chief of the Engineering and Operations Branch of the Lunar and Earth Sciences Division at the Manned Spacecraft Center. 

Dawson and his wife, the former Mary Jean Chody of Weatherford, are the parents of two daughters.  The family resides in Edmond.