The gearing up for the second annual Rumson St. Patrick's Day
Parade has begun and a celebrity grand marshal has been chosen for the March 9 event.
Heisman Trophy winner and retired U.S. Army Brigadier Gen. Peter M. Dawkins will head the parade that starts at 1 p.m. and travels down River Road.
"Pete is a longtime Rumson resident," Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl said. "He's lived here for about 25 years. We're thrilled that he will be our grand marshal this year. It's fitting, considering his background. We're looking forward to the second annual parade. It has really grown quite impressively this year. For instance, last year, we had seven bagpipe bands and this year we have 10, I'm told. It's going to be a magnificent day for Rumson."
restaurateur and Holiday Express leader Tim McLoone served as grand marshal. JoAnn Pileggi,
reporter for Fox 5 and My9 News, was the 2013 master of ceremonies and will return again
The parade will be replete with music, the 10 bagpipe bands, floats, marching bands
from area high schools, Irish Step Dancers, antique & classic cars, veteran
groups, scouting organizations, non-profit clubs, schools,
acts, and area business and civic groups.
About Pete Dawkins ...
During his military career, he commanded a company in the 82nd Airborne Division, led a battalion in Korea, taught at West Point, was a White House Fellow, and served as Military Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense.
After serving in Korea, he commanded the 3rd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division, and was promoted to Brigadier General in 1981.
Pete holds numerous military awards and decorations, including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Bronze Star for Valor with Oak Leaf Cluster, and three Vietnamese Gallantry Crosses. At West Point, Pete was First Captain of the Corps of Cadets, President of the Class of 1959, Captain of Army's undefeated football team and an All-American halfback.
He won the Heisman Trophy as the nation's outstanding college football player. Selected as a Rhodes Scholar, Pete studied at Oxford University, and later received a Masters degree and a PhD from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.
In 1983, following his career in the Army, Pete entered the world of business. He joined Lehman Brothers as head of the firm's Public Finance banking business, where he led a three-year initiative focused on providing creative financing to meet the need to overhaul a significant portion of the physical infrastructure throughout the country.
After running in 1988 as the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in New Jersey, Dawkins moved to Bain and Company — a Boston-based strategy consulting firm — where he became head of the U.S. consulting business.
In 1991, he was recruited by Sandy Weill to become Chairman and CEO of Primerica Financial Services, where Pete assumed the high-profile role of the recently departed founder, and led the company for the next five years.
Following that, Dawkins held a series of executive positions in what became Citigroup. He served as Vice Chairman and EVP of Travelers Insurance, then Vice Chairman of the Citigroup Private Bank and, finally, as Vice Chairman of Citigroup Global Wealth Management.
He remains active in a variety of national, community and philanthropic roles.
His listing of board service includes: the Intrepid Museum; the Wharton Business School's Center for Leadership and Change Management; the Secretary of Defense Policy Board; the Board of Trustees of the United States Military Academy, Hampton-Sydney College, Emory University Business School, and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
Time magazine identified Pete as one of the "Top 50 Leaders in the U.S." Among his many awards for public service are the National Institute of Social Sciences Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Service to Humanity, the BENS Eisenhower Award for Distinguished National Service, The National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame Gold Medal Award.
In 2006, he was recognized by the Horatio Alger Association by receiving its Distinguished American award.