Having always known that she wanted to become a teacher, Imogene Mathison Mixon, PhD, received early recognition in her education and was the valedictorian for her sixth, ninth and 12th grade classes. She embarked on her higher education studies at Troy University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in 1959. That same year, she began teaching English at Dothan High School while working toward her Master of Science at Auburn University, which she attained in 1963. In 1966, she joined Enterprise State Community College as an English instructor and became chair of the English department in 1968. She stayed with the college until 1982, during which time she obtained her Doctor of Philosophy from Florida State University in 1972 and completed postdoctoral coursework at Troy University and the University of Southern Mississippi between 1980 and 1982.
Hired by Wallace State Community College in 1982, Dr. Mixon served as an English instructor, the chair of the English department and the assistant academic dean until 1983, when she was promoted to the role of academic dean. She also served as the coordinator for the professional development task force for the Alabama Community College System from 1984 to 1986 and sat on the advisory board for the Dothan Regional Center of the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind from 1986 to 1988. Briefly spending time as the interim president of Wallace State Community College in 1991, she remained with the college as academic dean until her retirement in 1996.
Remaining active in her retirement, Dr. Mixon acted as interim president for the Alabama Aviation College from 1996 to 1997 and contributed to the Alabama Humanities Alliance from 1993 to 1997. She became a member of the Dale County Education Retirees Association in 1998; has been on the board of directors of the Ozark Dale County Library since 1999, a role she had previously held from 1981 to 1989; and has been a part of the Ozark Literary Club since 2001. In addition, she sat on the conference board of trustees for her local United Methodist Church from 2008 to 2017.
Having long been involved with her alma mater, Auburn University, Dr. Mixon served on the advisory board for the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities from 1986 to 2006, the national advisory council for the College of Education from 2008 to 2013 and the development leadership team from 2013 to 2017. Furthermore, since 2004, she has been very involved in providing and maintaining various scholarship funds. Starting with a local scholarship, she went on to create a scholarship in her husband’s name at Auburn University following his passing in 2007. From there, it evolved into additional work with Florida State University as well as Troy University, where she has been on the legacy giving council since 2014. In 2020, she established the Dr. Imogene M. Mixon Lifelong Learning and Research Endowment for the faculty at Troy University.
Having accomplished much over the years, Dr. Nixon considers the highlight of her career to be when she was presented with alumni awards from all three of her alma maters in 2016. Troy University gave her the Alumnus of the Year Award, she was named an Outstanding Alumnus in the College of Education at Auburn University, and was honored as a Distinguished Educator in the College of Education at Florida State University. She notes that it was more than just the awards that made it so special, but the reminder of the wonderful people who had helped her along the way from the very beginning of her educational journey that made these accolades so meaningful. Previously, she had been honored with the Outstanding Auburn University Woman Graduate Award in 1992 for the celebration of the centennial anniversary of women’s admission to Auburn University. Other accolades of hers include the Distinguished Leadership Award and the Administrator of the Year Award from the Alabama Community College System in 1991 and 1990, respectively, and three Teacher of the Year Awards from Enterprise State Community College in 1980, 1977 and 1973.