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A Dual Legacy

Dixon Long left his mark as an academic and philanthropist

Picture of Dr. Long talking

Dixon Long | Photo by Daniel Milner

Dixon Long, PhD, was a man of many pursuits: He was a political scientist, an academic leader, environmentalist, a philanthropist and novelist. Well before his death at age 89 last December, he had established a dual legacy at Case Western Reserve—first as dean of what is now the College of Arts and Sciences, and then as a donor committed to scholarship and education. 

Long, whose research interests included global politics and arms control, joined CWRU’s faculty in 1962 and spent his entire academic career at the university. He studied industrialized countries’ science policies long before it was fashionable and was an early advocate of interdisciplinary research and teaching.

“Dixon truly was a scholar ahead of his time,” said Kathryn Lavelle, PhD, the Ellen and Dixon Long Professor in World Affairs, whose chair Long endowed in 2006. 

An active participant in public affairs, Long produced reports for the U.S. Congress on a broad range of topics. He also became involved in state and local environmental causes, serving as president of the Ohio Conservation Foundation. 

Long led Western Reserve College from 1976 through 1983. Although it was a time of austerity for CWRU, he insisted the college maintain its traditional liberal arts programs, including classics, modern languages, music and theater. 

Long’s commitment to the university ran deep. In addition to Lavelle’s chair, he endowed a teaching fund at Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing in memory of his first wife, biologist and educator Ellen Corning Long, as well as an operating fund for the college’s Writing Resource Center. 

“Dixon’s enduring impact and generosity will benefit our university and students for years to come,” Lavelle said.

Page last modified: January 16, 2024