Oct. 11, 2012

Contact: Amy Hewes
805-756-6402; ahewes@calpoly.edu

Cal Poly Engineering Receives $250,000 Gift for Student Labs

SAN LUIS OBISPO – Cal Poly’s College of Engineering announced a $250,000 gift from 1953 Mechanical Engineering graduate Jack Dawson. On the memo line of the check, Dawson wrote “Return on Investment.”

Now retired, Dawson served as president of the Dawson Company, founded by his father in 1948. The company is a manufacturers’ representative and distributor of residential, commercial and industrial plumbing, and heating and cooling equipment.

Dawson believes the education he received at Cal Poly was a big part of his career success. “Cal Poly is almost unique in Learn by Doing,” he said. “The lab work I had in addition to academics included learning to machine and weld,” a technical aspect of his industry he said he wouldn’t have gotten at another university.

Inspired by the recent establishment of Cal Poly’s Critchfield Mechanical HVAC&R Laboratory, Dawson and his wife, Barbara, made the gift to fund an endowment for shop expenses and student technicians in the Student Fabrication Labs run by the Mechanical Engineering Department.

“The Student Fabrication Labs are open to all Cal Poly students, and this gift will help ensure that they are well supplied, in good shape, and available to help our students turn their dreams into reality,” said Andrew Davol, chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department. “This significant donation will forever impact how we are able to maintain these Learn by Doing facilities.”

# # #