Buck Dawson was the 1983 recipient of the Glen S. Hummer Award recipient, an award given to the individual who makes the greatest contribution to the open water swimming in the United States. He is an inductee in the International Swimming Hall of Fame and the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.
Dawson as executive director of the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) made major efforts to include open water swimming as integral part of the IMSHOF through displays and written materials maintained in the museum's library. As Camp Director of the Matt Mann Camps in Canada, Buck Supported the AAU and USS Long Distance Swimming Programs by entering and winning numerous National Championships. The camps also served as training camps for the USS Open Water National Teams and individuals training for English Channel and other marathon swim endeavors.