Lindenwood University's Belleville campus will host a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony for its new student center named in honor of former United States Senator Alan J. Dixon on Friday, Aug. 5, 2011.
Dixon served the state of Illinois for 43 years, including the Illinois legislature, various state offices, and the U.S. Senate. One of his most notable career accomplishments was his co-sponsorship of legislation that produced the state’s community college system.
A Belleville native, Dixon has strong ties to Lindenwood and its Belleville campus. He attended Belleville Township High School, as did his mother and three children. His wife, Joan Fox Dixon, is a Lindenwood alumna and was named the school’s Harvest Queen in 1952.
Dixon served as the keynote speaker during Lindenwood’s 2008 Commencement ceremony. The following year, his granddaughter, Fawne Yearian, earned a master’s degree in business administration from the university. Dixon’s daughter, Stephanie Yearian, is currently an instructor at the Lindenwood Belleville campus and recently earned a doctoral degree in education from the school.
“Naming the new facility after Dixon is a special way to recognize his contributions to higher education as well as the close relationships he and his family share with our school and with the community,” said Mary Radcliff, assistant vice president and executive director of community relations. “It’s more than fitting that we named the space after him.”
The Alan J. Dixon Student Center houses a new cafeteria, additional classrooms, a recreation area, an upper-level student lounge, a computer lab, and a contemporary library. It also features a space dedicated to memorabilia from Dixon’s many decades of public service.