Bronx Native Fosters Connections Through Football and Alumni Networks


George Dawson Jr., FCRH ’17, has a penchant for giving back to institutions that have been important to him. He’s a football coach and the director of alumni engagement at his high school alma mater, Cardinal Hayes in the Bronx. And in January, he became one of the newest and youngest members of the Fordham University Alumni Association (FUAA) Advisory Board, where he’s focused on helping the board connect with young alumni.

“I want to give back to places that helped shape who I am,” says Dawson, who majored in economics at Fordham, was an All-Patriot League linebacker for the Rams, and earned a spot on the league’s academic honor roll. “I’ve been giving my time and input to drive things toward what’ll be beneficial for more people. I think that’s something that’s really valuable.”

Returning to His High School, in Several Roles

After graduating from Fordham College at Rose Hill, Dawson returned to Hayes (as the school is known) to serve as the football team’s linebackers coach. He later took on an expanded role as defensive coordinator.

In January 2020, he joined the school’s administrative team as assistant director of alumni engagement, and by November he was promoted to director. In this role, Dawson organizes events for alumni, solicits donations for student scholarships and financial aid, and communicates with young alumni to keep them engaged and up to date on what’s happening at the school.

Dawson’s days are long, he says, but he relishes the opportunity to help students get in the door and thrive at Hayes, noting that his recruitment work for the football program provides a clear example of the benefits derived from alumni donations.

“We have to find a way to fund people and come up with financial assistance for kids who can’t afford to pay full tuition,” Dawson says. “So that ties right back into my job in the alumni office of soliciting donations to go toward tuition assistance.” (Read More)