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Dr. Robert M. Dixon named interim president of Rust College

HOLLY SPRINGS, MS – The Rust College Board of Trustees has appointed Dr. Robert M. Dixon, the interim vice president for Academic Affairs, as the college’s interim president.

Dr. Dixon succeeds the college’s 12th and first woman president, Dr. Ivy R. Taylor, who served from June 1, 2020 to May 6, 2023.

Dixon officially began serving as interim president last Sunday (May 7). 

“I am proud to lend my talents and expertise to such a historic and prestigious institution such as Rust College,” said Dixon. “I look forward to following in the traditions of past exceptional leaders who have served this institution during its 157 years.”

Dixon has worked as a faculty member and administrator at a half-dozen HBCUs over more than five decades and, arguably, has trained more African American physics undergraduates than anyone else in the country.

Dixon earned his undergraduate degree in Physics and Mathematics from Morehouse in 1964. He earned his master’s degree in Nuclear Physics in 1966 from Rutgers University and his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Theoretical Nuclear Physics from the University of Maryland in 1977.

Serving as a provost, vice president, dean, department chair, professor, and as a director of a private sector engineering firm, Dixon brings a wealth of higher education knowledge in management, teaching, fundraising and research.

A native of Atlanta, Dixon is formerly a member of the Morehouse College Board of Trustees and served on the Advisory Board of the Center of Excellence in Nuclear and High Energy Physics at Hampton University. He is a member of the American Association of Physics Teachers, the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Mathematical Association of America. 

A widower, Dixon is the father of three adult children. 

Rust College is the oldest historically black college in Mississippi and was founded in 1866 by the Freedmen’s Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Located in Holly Springs, it is 35 miles southeast of Memphis.

(For more information, visit www.rustcollege.edu.)

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