A grateful Front Range Community College alumnus has contributed a $75,000 scholarship endowment in memory of the biology professor who gave direction to his life.
Dr. David Davis, a dermatologist who practices with the Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center of New Mexico in Albuquerque, says the late Gerald R. Dotson, Ph.D., “was a very life-changing kind of teacher. I credit him with setting my career direction. He was a very rigorous teacher. I became a much better student because of him.”
Davis graduated from high school in the Denver area and had earned some arts and humanities credits before enrolling at FRCC. Taking a biology class from Dr. Dotson inspired Davis, who went on to earn an Associate of Science degree from FRCC and then a bachelor’s degree in biology, anthropology, and chemistry from the University of Colorado.
Davis then earned a Master of Science in biochemistry from the University of Denver. His Medical Degree is from the University of Colorado medical school. Davis took a residency in dermatology at the University of North Carolina and a fellowship in Mohs surgery, a surgery for skin cancer, at the University of Iowa.
“The endowment that Dr. Davis established will make a difference in the lives of students who follow,” said FRCC President Andrew Dorsey. “These scholarships will provide students the opportunity to brighten their futures and change their lives. Many will find their own ‘Dr. Dotson’ in other FRCC classrooms.”
He dedicated his teaching life to helping students and Westminster residents understand the biology and ecology of the world around them. As a volunteer, he worked with the City of Westminster and area residents to create a comprehensive system of nature trails behind the Westminster Campus.
“Dad absolutely loved his job,” says Roberta Dettman, Dr. Dotson’s daughter who as a teen worked at night answering the phones at an FRCC campus in Boulder. “He loved teaching. His students meant everything to him. I knew he was a great teacher by what former students told me about him. He cared.”
Another daughter, Deborah Dotson-Skaar, says, “He didn’t have to say much about his teaching. At his funeral, many former students came up to me and said, ‘We loved your father.’ They called him Dr. Dotson. It was quite obvious the impact he had on many students.”
Paul Younger, a retired math professor, recalls that Dr. Dotson “loved to work with his students. He had a desire for his students to succeed.”
And now, students who never met Dr. Dotson or took a class from him will have an opportunity to succeed, thanks to the Dr. Gerald R. Dotson Ph.D. Scholarship Endowment.
The FRCC Foundation intends to use the earnings from the endowment to award the first two scholarships in fall 2012.
About Front Range Community College
FRCC is a member of the Colorado Community College System, the state’s largest system of higher education. CCCS serves more than 162,000 students annually. The system oversees career and academic programs in the 13 state community colleges and career and technical programs in more than 160 school districts and six other post-secondary institutions.