David Dawson, Earlham College's 17th president
David Dawson began his tenure as President and Professor of Religion at Earlham College on July 1, 2011. Prior to Earlham, Dawson was a member of the faculty and Provost at Haverford College in Pennsylvania. He came to Haverford in 1987 directly from Yale University, where he received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies in 1988. Prior to this, Dawson received a B.A. from Towson State University, majoring in English and History, and his Master of Divinity degree from the Divinity School of Duke University. Along with his extended family living in rural St. Mary's County, Maryland, he is a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church.
David is the author of two books on ancient biblical interpretation and one book on modern literary theory, as well as a collection of scholarly articles and he enjoys teaching courses in the areas of modern religious thought and comparative literature. His most recent new course is a seminar on the religion of William Blake in word and image, with an emphasis on the interaction of poetry and images in Blake's illuminated printing.
While serving as Provost at Haverford, David worked with other campus leaders on the early development of three new academic centers (the Hurford Humanities Center, the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship, and the Koshland Integrated Natural Sciences Center), initiatives in the area of diversity and social justice, and the development of new programming in the arts.
David is excited to join the Earlham community along with his wife, Ellen, a graphic artist and graduate of Yale Divinity School, his son, Aaron, a student at Macalester College, and daughter, Abigail.