Earning a degree in psychology, Julia Shank was a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority.
She married her college sweetheart, Chester S. Dawson '48, with whom she had three wonderful children - Jeffrey, Julia Ann, and Philip. Although each child was terminally afflicted with cystic fibrosis, Julia Dawson dedicated her life to their comfort and survival.
As the only survivor of her immediate family, she returned to school in 1991 and received a Masters of Divinity from Drew University. She was ordained in September of 1996, at age 70.
She now serves as an associate pastor at the First Presbyterian Church in Verona, N.J., and directs a program called Rainbows, for children of all faiths who are grieving because of a death, divorce, or separation. At the same time, she also works with critically and terminally ill children as the chaplain in the Saint Joseph's Medical Center children's hospital in Patterson, N.J.
She has been the president of the Philanthropic and Educational Organization's New Jersey chapter and is a member of Bucknell's Ellen Clarke Bertrand Society. She has served her class as a reunion book editor in 1978 and 45th reunion gift drive volunteer in 1993. In 1990, she and her husband created the Jeffrey, Julia Ann, and Philip Dawson Scholarship.
Despite personal tragedy, her exceptional devotion to the good of humankind has powerfully benefited innumerable persons in their time of need.
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