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GWU’S “Mr. Personality” Retires
Scoot Dixon
Without a doubt, he is truly “one of a kind”! Ralph W. Dixon, Jr. may be a stranger to just about everyone, but “Scoot” Dixon is very well known throughout Cleveland County and, suffice to say, known very much in the collegiate circles of the Southeastern United States. His manner is always kind, considerate and acknowledging. His dedication -  unabashedly Gardner-Webb University! After 25 years spreading “the gospel of this emerging Christian university”, the beloved “Scoot” is about to retire. Will he be missed? The answer is a resounding “yes”! However, knowing the nature of the man, he will always, most definitely, be only a phone call away. When and if needed, you just know “he’ll always be there!”
How did he get the name “Scoot”? Well, it seems that his dad, a professional baseball player associated with the Chicago Cubs organization, did not want his son to be call Junior or Little Ralph. He was named after his dad, but the name “Scoot” came from one of his dad’s favorite baseball players. Yankee Phil Rizzuto, the 5 foot 6 inch New York Yankee shortstop. His nickname was “Scooter”, so his dad gave his son the nickname “Scoot” and it stuck.
What formulated his personality and dedication to the job, starts in Fallston, North Carolina. It was a general store that served the Fallston community. The store, W. J. Dixon & Sons, served the area with a very accomodating and caring attitude. All the customers were treated with great respect. Little “Scoot” started sweeping floors and stocking shelves. He grew into “taking care of customers and all their needs.” He was raised in that store. He gives credit to his grandfather and dad whom he observed being very gracious, thoughtful and considerate. As he grew up and became a member of the very first graduating class from Burns High school, he continued to work at the store. Even when he attended UNC Chapel Hill, he would come home and work at the store. “Scoot” was the only son in the family, but he does have a sister, Sherry, and oddly enough they both share the same birthday, July 30th, even though they are four years apart.
Upon graduating from UNC Chapel Hill, he went to work for the State of North Carolina Departmern of Human Resources for 9 years, serving Murdoch Center as Assistant Director of Personnel Management Services, Dorothea Dix Hospital as Director of Personnel Management Services and the State Office as Director of Institutional Personnel Management Services. His background continued as he moved up the ladder. He next became Executive Vice President for a Regional Consulting Company, A position he held for 6 years.
Finally in January of 1989, “Scoot’ Dixon became Vice President for College Relations at the emerging Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs. He held that position for 8 years and left to become Executive Director of the NC Baptist Foundation in Cary, N. C. However, “Scoot” missed the students, college life and most of all GWU. In 1998 he became Vice President of Enrollment Management  and later Special Assistant to the President of Gardner-Webb.
So after 25 years, “Scoot” Dixon is about to retire. Together with his wife Myra, he intends to “keep in touch with GWU”. He describes his retirement as “not an ending, just a change”. It all goes back to his statement: “I truly believe that God has had a major influence in what I do and He expects me to do it!” He strongly feels that GWU is a “special place” and a place where he found his job “fabulously rewarding”.
President of Gardner-Webb University had this to say about “Scoot”: “For the better part of three decades, Ralph “Scoot” Dixon has faithfully served Gardner-Webb University in several senior staff positions. In every roll, his service has been exemplary, and he has been a tremendous asset to the school. He will be sorely missed, and we all wish him the very best in retirement.
As that little boy who swept the floors at the family store in Fallston, “Scoot” Dixon swept many off their feet with his constant graciousness and beloved personality. Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do.
M.A. Andrews

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