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Outstanding graduating senior supports fight against substance abuse, food insecurity


Dawson Hendricks posing in a suit in front of a brick building.

Dawson Hendricks

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November 30, 2023

Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable fall 2023 graduates.

While pursuing his business administration degree, Marine Corps veteran Dawson Hendricks ('23 BA) juggled responsibilities as a father, husband, full-time mortgage lender, and community advocate, all while maintaining over a 4.0 GPA.

“I am incredibly proud of my success during my time at ASU. To perform this well professionally and academically in unison is something I was unsure I could do,” says Hendricks. 

As an ASU Online student, the Turken Family Outstanding Graduating Senior got involved in his Oklahoma City community when he couldn’t attend on-campus clubs and activities. Hendricks serves on the young professionals board for Hope is Alive, a nonprofit assisting with substance abuse and alcoholism recovery through comprehensive programming, where he founded a financial training program for residents to educate participants on homeownership. The program has helped three residents become homeowners through multiple down payment assistance programs and grants he facilitated. 

Hendricks is also part of the 2023–24 leadership council for the Oklahoma Regional Food Bank, where he works to reduce food insecurity across the state.

“Fighting addiction and food insecurity has its challenges, but it also provides the greatest satisfaction when we win,” says Hendricks. “I have seen the impact these issues have on our neighbors and families, but I have also seen the joy that comes from a family knowing they have enough food for the week or a resident from Hope is Alive celebrating their first year of sobriety. It is truly amazing to see.”

We caught up with Hendricks to learn more about his experience and goals.

Question: What was your “aha” moment when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?

Answer: I knew majoring in business administration would be a deep dive into the business world, with the added flexibility to pursue different fields. When I realized my skill set was driving me toward the business sector, choosing a major was simple. 

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?

A: A support system and connections are some of your best assets. I’m a mortgage lender in Oklahoma City, and recently met a realtor wearing an ASU hat. It turned into a 30-minute conversation, and now we are doing business together. Shout out to Clara Walker, Class of 2019!

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A:  I wanted a degree from the top business school in the U.S. ASU’s top-rated online business program made it an easy decision.

Q: What’s the best advice for those still in school?

A: Enjoy the small, beautiful moments. I could say to manage your time wisely or find a study habit that works best for you, but there are going to be so many times where doubt, stress, and negativity creep into your mind. Appreciating the small moments that make your day a little better will improve your outlook on what matters. Also, be nice to people. I truly believe that a lot of my success has come from kindness and genuinely caring about people.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I am going to enjoy coming home and just being a dad and husband, with no homework or exams to study for. Eventually, I plan to pursue my MBA. Professionally, the goal is the same as usual: to be the top mortgage lender in Oklahoma. 

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