Financial support from the AAPG Foundation has provided a continuous stream of generous funding to students, researchers, AAPG members and the general public since 1967. Some, perhaps most, of those who have benefited were not AAPG members; many had no idea who Fred Dix was. But the AAPG Foundation was in many ways Fred's creation. He brought prominent geoscientists together, men and women of means, and facilitated their cooperation to build a permanent institution that continues to serve both geoscientists and laypeople.
All who have benefited -- and will continue to benefit -- from the AAPG Foundation's philanthropy are in debt to Fred Dix. What a legacy!
-- Peter R. Rose, AAPG president
Fred Dix played a critical role in the development of AAPG. He was expected to put headquarters' operations on a business basis when hired as executive director in 1972. The timing was good. Two oil price spikes soon followed and Fred met the challenge of both tripling of membership and the angst of the mid-1980s oil price crash. It took a good pilot to handle all this and the consequent decline of membership to the 30,000 range -- still, however, twice what Fred started with!
-- Patrick J.F. Gratton, AAPG past president
For the past 32 years, Fred Dix served AAPG and the Foundation as a creative and dedicated leader, bringing his many talents to bear on the fortunes off both organizations. He was a scientist, a manager, a people-oriented executive. Mixed in with a great sense of humor and a heavy dose of common sense, those attributes gave Fred the ability to achieve recognition as a primary factor in the development of AAPG as one of the world's leading geological societies.
One day in the mid-1990s I called Fred to express my concern that the Foundation had no specific funding programs to encourage undergraduate enrollment in geology. After a short conversation, he said that he would think about that and get back to me. That afternoon, he called to tell me that he had talked to Austin Weeks and that a $1 million grant was on its way to the Foundation. Thus was born the L. Austin Weeks Undergraduate Grant Program that has benefited hundreds of young geology students in the past eight years!
This is just one example off the inspired leadership that Fred provided during his many years as AAPG's executive director and in guiding and counseling the Foundation from its inception. Well done, Mr. Executive Director. You will be sorely missed.
-- Lawrence Funkhouser, past AAPG president and AAPG Foundation chairman
Fred's ability to motivate and to inspire people, coupled with his wonderful wit, his intelligence and his administrative skills made him a highly successful leader of AAPG …
-- Jack Threet, AAPG Foundation chairman
Donald A. O'Nesky, who retired in 2002 after having worked at the side of Fred Dix for 18 years as AAPG's business director and deputy executive director, recalled him this way:
"One of my first days on the job Fred said, ‘When I took this job the first thing I had to do was go to the bank and borrow $25,000 so we could make payroll. You be sure I never have to go to the bank again and borrow money to keep the Association going.' Well, he never had to borrow again."
Some other O'Nesky reminiscences:
"When we were brainstorming how to finance the Pratt Tower, an Australian entrepreneur made a run on Weeks Petroleum, which drove the stock up. Fortunately, Lewis Weeks had left the AAPG Foundation 500,000 shares of Weeks Petroleum stock.
Fred commented later that ‘the Weeks' family generosity has now paid for the construction of both towers.'"
"Fred had the most unique ability for managing delicate issues between two opposing individuals or groups. He could smooth talk the issue in such a way that at some point the groups would come together in agreement. As I observed this over the years I realized Fred had a special talent for resolving what appeared to be deadlocks."
"I appreciated the fact that Fred did not micromanage. He gave you a job, told you what he expected, and he expected you to do it. Simple as that. The employees respected Fred so much they did not want to disappoint him. They would always go the extra mile for him."