Solon and Martha Dixon Foundation to support Auburn aviation

AUBURN – The Board of Directors of the Solon and Martha Dixon Foundation has pledged $200,000 to the Auburn University College of Business in support of flight education. The gift will be used to purchase a glass cockpit flight training device and create an endowment to support proper maintenance and upkeep of the equipment throughout its useful life.

A 1926 graduate of Alabama Polytechnic Institute, Solon Dixon was a leader in the forestry industry. Dixon began his career, however, in the aeronautical engineering and flight education programs at Auburn, instructing student pilots for nearly a decade.

“We know that the glass simulator will improve the training for students and enable them to be more competitive as they pursue career opportunities and that it will be a reminder of Mr. Dixon’s role in the formulation of the earliest flight programs at Auburn University,” said Doris Tyler, president of the Solon and Martha Dixon Foundation.

“The Solon and Martha Dixon Foundation Board of Directors is pleased to partner with Auburn University and the College of Business to enhance the educational opportunities for students in the flight program,” said Tyler.

The professional flight program uses single-engine and light twin-engine aircraft, along with an advanced flight simulation laboratory, in courses leading to various pilot certificates and ratings. Program administrators estimate that they will be able to reduce each student’s required flight time by 20 hours through the use of the simulator, saving more than 6,000 gallons of aviation fuel consumption per year.

“Integrating the glass cockpit flight training device into our curriculum will be invaluable to our students,” said Paul Bobrowski, dean of the College of Business. “Providing the glass cockpit experience so that our students become familiar with the avionics technology of today’s aircraft will allow our students to be more competitive in this technology driven industry. The college is grateful for the Dixon Foundation’s commitment to the flight education program.”

In recognition of his early role in flight education programs, the Auburn University Board of Trustees approved a request at its last meeting to name the simulator after Mr. Dixon. The simulator will be known as the Solon Dixon Simulator.

The Solon and Martha Dixon Foundation has been among the Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences’ leading contributors for more than 30 years. The foundation has given more than $1.9 million to Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences and the College of Agriculture.

The College of Business at Auburn University is accredited at the undergraduate and graduate levels by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the highest standard of achievement for business schools. Less than one-third of U.S. business schools and only 15 percent of business schools worldwide meet the rigorous standards of AACSB International accreditation. Institutions that earn accreditation confirm their commitment to quality and continuous improvement through a rigorous and comprehensive peer review.

Contact: Dina Kanellos Roberts, (334) 844-2203 (
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (