AUBURN – The Solon and Martha Dixon Foundation has contributed $950,000 to Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences to help fund additional dormitories at the Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center.
The dormitories house students attending summer practicum programs and continuing education programs that AU sponsors at the center. The foundation’s most recent gift will help fund five cottages housing eight each, almost doubling the existing capacity.
The Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center was built through an initial gift in 1978 of 5,300 acres of land and $500,000 from the foundation, the school’s leading contributor, and has been used as a learning facility for incoming professional forestry students. Martha Dixon has continued to provide funds for maintenance and expansion of the center.
“The School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences is very grateful to the Solon and Martha Dixon Foundation and to Martha Dixon for their continued support over the past 29 years,” said Dean Richard Brinker. “Gifts such as this allow us to provide a high quality education experience for our students, and continue to support education opportunities for the natural resource community in a meaningful way.”
Solon Dixon was a 1928 graduate of Alabama Polytechnic Institute and taught at API until the Great Depression. He received his honorary doctorate in 1979. In reference to the dedication of the center the same year Dixon said, “I’ll have to admit that this moment is a highlight in my life… Standing on the very ground which our ancestors homesteaded so many, many years ago, we see the beginning of a learning and research center which will last far beyond our lifetimes, a center which will not only promote the forest industry but will, also serve as a memorial to the Dixon family.”
The “It Begins at Auburn” Campaign encompasses all colleges and schools as well as the AU libraries and museums, athletics and Auburn University Montgomery. Endowments for student scholarships, faculty, programs and unrestricted dollars make up 58 percent of the campaign’s goal. In addition to endowments, the campaign will focus on facilities and equipment, campus beautification, research and current operations.