No. 96 | People

W. Boulton Dixon

Bo Dixon served as Headmaster from 1992 to 2007.

A lifelong educator and the product of independent schools, Bo Dixon came to McDonogh in 1992 after serving as the Head at Columbus Academy in Ohio and the Haverford School in Philadelphia, his alma mater. 

His tenure at McDonogh is remembered for extensive improvements to campus, a deep commitment to faculty, and genuine interest in students. He was guided by two principles: 1) people come first…especially kids, and 2) find joy in whatever you do. 

During his time as Headmaster, Dixon was a powerful fundraiser who helped to complete many capital projects including the Rollins-Luetkemeyer Athletic Center, the Clarence A. Burck Center for the Arts, the Ceres M. Horn Theatre, the Dudley Hall kindergarten building, the Kelly Center and Elderkin Hall additions to the Lower School, the Henry A. Rosenberg, Jr. Aquatic Center, the conversion of Finney Building into dedicated space for the Middle School, and the addition of four single-family homes for faculty families. He was motivated by the impact these projects would have on teaching and learning, which was compelling to donors.

Dixon firmly believed that McDonogh was great because of the people who filled the hallways and classrooms. “The teachers, the deans, the coaches, and the housekeeping staff give the school its character, its flavor,” he once said. And he was their number one fan. He fought hard to increase their salaries and support them in many other ways as well. “What amazed me was how much he knew about me,” former faculty member Mina Wender recalled in a 2007 McDonogh Magazine article. “He made me feel like I was appreciated. He found something special and worthy about every person on campus.”

Unwavering concern for students was Dixon’s greatest strength. He always wanted to help students expand their horizons, and he was known to find the resources for them to accomplish this. Creating joy and making a positive difference in a child’s day were the two things that mattered most to him.

Learn more about McDonogh School's rich history by visiting the archives online.

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