White’s Residential & Family Services: Dawn Hobson

By: Dezaray Barr

Dawn Hobson on her graduation day

Dawn Hobson graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) in 1987 with a degree in social work. She was drawn to IWU, because her sister attended the school (then Marion College). Hobson would visit on siblings weekends, and she liked the college. “I loved college!” she said. “I had great friends, and we did a lot of activities. We shared a dorm and then a house our senior year. There are six of us girlfriends who continue to do things together. We have gone to Florida, Cancun and other short weekend trips. We did a camping trip with all of our kids and spouses too.”

Hobson’s daughter graduated from IWU two years ago.

During her time at IWU, Hobson’s life changed dramatically, especially spiritually. “I grew a lot spiritually during a crucial time in my life that I was struggling with an eating disorder,” she shared. “I enjoyed most of the chapels and loved the churches I attended there while a student. My favorite professor was Wilbur Williams (as many say), especially when he came into class dressed up as Moses.  I enjoyed my New Testament class with Bud Bence as well.”

Dawn Hobson and her family

Since she graduated from IWU, Hobson has worked at Whites Residential and Family Services. She worked on the residential side for 13.5 years and then at the high school. Now she works as a social worker for the foster care program, and she’s been in this role for ten years now. For the first 18 years she was at White’s, Hobson lived on campus and raised her children on the campus. She even met her husband there, because he grew up on the campus as a staff kid.

Hobson explained, “IWU gave me a foundation for what I do. It has been so long since I had these classes, but I took classes such as Child Development that I am using now in my work with foster children. I would say that the program was in its initial stages when I went, but it gave me a cultural perspective that took me out of my comfort zone when we made trips to Chicago. That was the part that I remember the most is the hands-on experience I had. I had the different internships like working at a drug rehab that exposed me to issues that I had never dealt with.”

A fun fact about Hobson is that she was the first female on the men’s IWU tennis team, because they didn’t have a girls team yet. “I played in high school and wanted to play in college, so I begged Coach Porter to let me play. I still am in contact with Coach Porter and Eddy Shigley and Jay Smithly,” she said.



Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a senior Strategic Communication, Journalism and Honors Humanities triple major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.