Robert Dawson Memorial Basketball Scholarship Established at Southeast


The Robert Dawson Memorial Basketball Scholarship has been established through the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.

The scholarship was established by John Piatchek, a 1969 Southeast graduate and his wife Diana, in honor of their lifelong friend. The recipient of the scholarship will be a men’s basketball student athlete with a minimum 2.0 grade point average.

The scholarship was established in memory of the late Bob Dawson, who attended Southeast from 1965 to 1968 and was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. Dawson grew up in south St. Louis and attended Mehlville High School. Bob was a multi-talented athlete who played football, baseball and basketball. He excelled at basketball and was starting guard on the varsity team.

Dawson was drafted into the Army in 1968 and served in Vietnam from 1969-70 as an M60 gunner and was wounded while on patrol. For his heroics, he earned a Purple Heart and a Combat Infantry Badge.

After his military service, Dawson moved to Anna, Illinois with his wife Jean. He was a foreman on the electrician’s crew at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and retired in 2009.

Dawson, who passed away in March 2021, was known for his love of his country, dedication to his family and friendliness to everyone. His hobbies were hunting, fishing, riding motorcycles and basketball. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Jean, his son Brad and daughter Amanda.