Family of Drew Theological School Alum Creates Scholarship

The legacy of Dr. Douglas Lawson T’60 lives on by supporting future students

January 2023 – The philanthropic legacy of Dr. Douglas M. Lawson T’60, who passed away on December 26, 2020, will carry on through a newly-instituted scholarship, initiated by his sons Sam and David Lawson to support future Drew Theological School students. 

The scholarship will be awarded annually to a Theological School student with demonstrated financial need. A preference will be given to a student from historically underrepresented populations or pursuing an academic and/or vocational path centered in social justice and the empowerment of historically underrepresented populations, underserved communities.

The recipient will ideally also reside on campus with their family, as Lawson did with his wife and son Sam as a Theological School student.

Lawson received his BA from Randolph-Macon College, his BD from Drew Theological School, and his Doctor of Philosophy from Duke University. His sons credit Lawson’s lifelong passion for social justice from his experiences at Drew.

He was a Methodist minister prior to becoming Dean of Men and later Director of Development at Randolph-Macon College, which he had helped integrate in the 1960’s. “He was instrumental in bringing in the first Black student to Randolph Macon,” said Sam Lawson.

Lawson was an accomplished fundraiser, serving as the founding chairman of Lawson Associates, Inc. He served not only as a fundraising consultant but also as a leadership gift fundraiser, helping thousands of organizations worldwide raise in excess of two billion dollars. 

Lawson had a love for theater, which was fostered by Drew’s proximity to New York City—even producing several off-Broadway plays.

He authored Volunteering: 101 Ways You Can Improve the World and Your Life, Give to Live: How Giving Can Change Your Life, and More Give to Live: How Giving Can Change Your Life.


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