Reverend Thomas Dawson was the fourth president of The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia (1755–1760). He is also the brother of William Dawson, who was the second president of William & Mary (1743–1752). He was educated at William & Mary and also held several religious positions, including being an Anglican clergyman, rector of the Bruton Parish, and commissary of the Bishop of London. Dawson was also a member of the Governor's Council and master of the Indian School at the College.
In 1752 Dawson married Priscilla Bassett, the daughter of Colonel William Bassett.