Endowment established at Auburn to honor local resident

Published 9:15 am Saturday, February 11, 2023

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The Solon and Martha Dixon Foundation has established the Doris Bass Tyler Endowed Scholarship at Auburn University for the purpose of providing scholarships in the College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment, or CFWE.

As a dedicated employee of the Solon and Martha Dixon Foundation, Tyler has worked tirelessly during her life in support of Solon Dixon’s vision of educating future generations about the conservation of natural resources. With this gift, her career is recognized and celebrated through the financial support granted to CFWE students.

“It is exciting to know that a scholarship bearing my name will continue to promote Mr. Solon Dixon’s vision for forestry education and the Foundation’s primary focus to fund forestry, forestry education and conservation programs,” said Tyler.

Tyler’s namesake scholarship will be eligible to forestry or wildlife ecology and management majors of good academic standing. The student recipient must also be a resident of one of the following counties: Covington, Butler, Conecuh, Escambia, Crenshaw, Coffee or Geneva. However, preference is given to a student from Covington County, in which Doris Bass Tyler is a celebrated member of the community.

Doris Bass Tyler was born in Andalusia, Alabama, February 18, 1932, to Florence Perdue Bass and Andrew Bennett Bass. She graduated from Andalusia High School in 1950 and immediately began her career in the business world, progressing from an office assistant to office manager and executive secretary.

It was through Solon and Charles Dixon that Tyler came to understand the significance of committing to the conservation of timber and natural resources.

In 1967, Tyler was employed by Charles Dixon and Company and remained with the Dixon family in their timber and farming businesses until her retirement with the Dixon Family Partnership L.P., in 2001.

She was invited to serve as a director of the Solon and Martha Dixon Foundation and Gunter Dixon Foundation boards in 1998. As a director, she was elected to the office of secretary, and in September 2001, she was nominated and elected to represent the Foundation as its president.

During her years of service, the fair market value of the Foundation’s managed assets has grown 53 percent, and the Foundation has contributed over 22 million dollars to national, state and local charitable entities.

“I am humbled, honored, appreciative and grateful to my fellow board members for their decision for this outstanding recognition in my honor. Most of all, I treasure their friendship, love and support that was given me during my tenure as president of the Foundation,” said Tyler.

Steadfast, Tyler sought to achieve Solon Dixon’s purposes and objectives, as detailed in the Foundation’s articles of incorporation. Her service as president of the Foundation extended from September 2001 to June 30, 2022, and, today, she continues her service as a director.

“Her attention to detail, conviction to manage the financial assets given by Mr. Solon Dixon to the Foundation and the Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center, and consideration of charitable entities’ purposes are characteristics which she has contributed to the successful operation of the Foundation,” Phillip Jones, current president of the Foundation.

“The directors of the Foundation are proud of and applaud her representation and success during her years of service as president.”

Always involved in community activities, Tyler currently serves as a founding director of Covington County Veterans Foundation and as a director of Andalusia High School Scholarship Foundation.

Tyler has served as a director of several organizations which include; South Central Alabama Mental Health, LBWCC Foundation, Distinguished Young Women of Covington County, Andalusia United Fund, Andalusia Office Professionals Association, Andalusia Business and Professional Women’s Club, and American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 80, in which she served as president on local and district levels.

She has also served as a member of the Covington County Bank Women’s Advisory Council, Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce, Andalusia Kiwanis Club, Covington County Republican Women, Covington Heart Association and Covington Historical Society. As a member of these organizations, she served on various committees to promote their programs.

Tyler received the “Torch Award” and was named “Woman of the Year” by the Andalusia Business and Professional Women’s Club in 1985. She was selected as an “Outstanding Andalusia High School Graduate” and received her award in 2017.

She has two children, Michel Wayne Tyler and Anita Tyler Prewitt and three grandchildren, Jessica Tyler, Katie Tyler Caffey and Michael Tyler. She has been blessed with one great-granddaughter, Hazel Maren Caffey.

“Our college is honored to receive this endowment from the Solon and Martha Dixon Foundation in honor of Doris Bass Tyler. She has exhibited an incredible work ethic and dedication to her community throughout her life and career,” said Heather Crozier, the college’s director of development. “Her legacy has had an impact at this and many other institutions, and our students will greatly benefit from this gift.”

— This story was written by Avanelle Elmore and provided to the Star-News by Jamie Anderson, Auburn University’s College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment Manager of Communications & Marketing.