Peter P. Dawson, who was a professor of organizational behavior in the College of Business for 23 years, died Oct. 29 from a stroke. He was 101.
Dawson, a retired Air Force colonel, author of multiple books in the field of business systems and organizational behavior, and a former consultant for several major corporations, was best known for his dedication to students.
Twelve graduating classes selected him as their favorite professor and in 1988, Cal Poly Pomona awarded him the university’s outstanding professor award. He designed a series of unique experiential exercises and a business simulation, which earned him the Freedom Foundation’s Leavey Award for Excellence in Free Enterprise.
The World War II veteran and certified data processor was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Academy of Management, the Operations Research Society of America and the Organizational Behavior Teaching Society.
Dawson retired at age 75 and spent the next 17 years writing a three-volume history of his extended family’s transition from Italy to America titled “The Fine Family of Nine.” His immigrant father and mother were from the Friuli region of Italy.
He was married to his late wife, June Baird Dawson, for 52 years before her death in 1995. A son, Thomas, also preceded him in death in 1980. He is survived by his son Peter III, daughter-in-law Diane, granddaughter Paige Diane Dawson, grandson Peter Thomas Dawson, granddaughter-in-law Sara and three great grandchildren – Thomas, Adri and Trevor Dawson.