John Dausman '71 Receives Florida County's 'Moral Courage Award'
July 27, 2005
July 27, 2005, Greencastle, Ind. - "John Dausman receives Hillsborough County's highest honor today," begins a story in Florida's Tampa Tribune on the 1971 DePauw University graduate. "He is the winner of this year's Moral Courage Award, which recognizes people who challenge local government. The county is recognizing Dausman for calling attention to financial and management problems at the Hillsborough Area Rapid Transit Agency, known as HARTline."
Mark Holan's article continues, "Dausman sued HARTline under the state's whistleblower law, claiming he was dismissed for being outspoken about what he described as financial mismanagement." Ronda Storms, a member of the county commission, which unanimously approved Dausman's award, says, "It is my personal delight, my personal delight, to move John Dausman as the recipient of the Moral Courage Award. I think that he is a perfect example of what the establishment of the Moral Courage Award is all about."
"My parents raised the family to be unwaveringly honest," Dausman tells the newspaper. The story notes, "Dausman graduated near the top of his Elkhart, Ind., high school class in 1967 and left home that fall for DePauw University, near Indianapolis, where he studied economics and French on a scholarship. His degree program allowed him to spend the fall of 1970 living in France and traveling through Europe. 'For somebody from Elkhart, Indiana, that was a life-changing opportunity,' Dausman said. In Europe and back on campus, he observed the counterculture of the era, but his lingering shyness and 'cautious nature' kept him at the edge of the crowds. 'What I carried away from that is not so much the activism, but don't believe everything that you're told, use your brain, and if you have to, come to your own solutions,' he said."Back