Lincoln Memorial University


LMU Names Dawson Hall in Honor of Jim & Karen Dawson


Harrogate, Tennessee, November 10, 2017—Dr. B. James Dawson had a hand in the planning and building of a residence hall that will now bear his name. Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) Chairman Autry O.V. “Pete” DeBusk formally dedicated LMU’s newest residence hall, Dawson Hall, during LMU’s fall board meeting on Friday, November 10, 2017.

Dawson retired from the presidency of LMU in June, following eight years of service to the institution. He remains an active ambassador, representing the University in various capacities as president emeritus.

During Dawson’s presidency LMU ascended to Level VI Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) accreditation, opened the doors to the LMU-John J. Duncan, Jr. School of Law, started a Doctorate of Education program and founded the LMU-College of Veterinary Medicine. The University expanded its physical plant with the construction of the Village Apartments and the Hamilton Math and Science building. He oversaw the acquisition and renovation of properties in the historic town of Cumberland Gap and championed the “Arts in the Gap” programming that followed. LMU opened several extended learning sites during his tenure, including LMU-Cedar Bluff in Knoxville, Tennessee, and the new Caylor School of Nursing facility in Corbin, Kentucky. Dawson also contributed greatly to LMU’s advancement work, as the institution has raised nearly $40 million since 2010.

Dawson came to LMU after retiring from Coker College in Hartsville, South Carolina, where he served as president for seven years. He served his first presidency at Tennessee Wesleyan College in Athens, Tennessee, where he served from 1995 until 2002. A native Hoosier, Dawson earned a B.A. and a M.A. at the University of Evansville in Evansville, Indiana, and began his academic career at his alma mater where he started as an admissions counselor. While still working at the University of Evansville, he received his doctorate in administration of higher education from Indiana University. During his tenure at the University of Evansville, Dawson held a variety of administrative positions culminating with a vice president post.

Dawson Hall also honors former LMU First Lady Karen Dawson. Also a native Hoosier, Karen Dawson studied health, physical education and recreation at the University of Evansville and completed a master’s degree at Indiana University. She had a career as a coach and educator. Together, the Dawsons share lives committed to advancing the goals of education, philanthropy and family. They have two children and three grandchildren.

“It was truly an honor to serve this fine institution and I am very proud of the work that we have done here,” Jim Dawson said. “It is an extra special honor not only to have our name on this building, but to join the distinguished company of the other individuals who also have an apartment building bearing their name.”

The seventh residence hall within The Village Apartments, Dawson Hall can house up to 48 residents. Designated for graduate and professional students, the building includes 16 one-bedroom and 32 two-bedroom units. Married undergraduate students may also reside in the building. The furnished apartments include a full kitchen with refrigerator, stove/oven and microwave; living room and washer and dryer.

Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies.  The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or e-mail at



423.869.3611 | 800.325.0900
6965 Cumberland Gap Parkway
Harrogate, TN 37752