Adelaide Hixon, Founder of Yale’s
Urban Ecology Center, Dies at 101

Adelaide Hixon with her grandson, Dylan Hixon '88 B.S.

Adelaide Hixon, wife of Yale graduate Alec Hixon ’38, died Nov. 6 at the age of 101.
Generous donors to numerous education institutions, Adelaide and Alec established the Hixon Center for Urban Ecology in 1998 with a generous gift to the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES).
The innovative Hixon Center is an interdisciplinary forum for scholars, students, and practitioners to conduct research, teaching, and outreach to improve understanding and management of urban environmental systems. The Center funds student research fellowships; hosts a lecture series and an annual conference on urban ecology; and directs local programs like the Urban Resources Initiative, which provides F&ES students with field experience in social forestry.
“Adelaide and Alec recognized early the emerging environmental challenges cities would face in the 21st century,” said Colleen Murphy-Dunning, director of the Hixon Center. “Their generosity has fostered research that has advanced the growing field of urban ecology, and has made it possible to test novel solutions in New Haven.”
“She was remarkably generous and humble; I am very grateful to have had the chance to know her.”
Adelaide remained engaged with F&ES for many years, funding the Adelaide Hixon Scholarship and serving on the School’s Leadership Council, in recent years alongside her grandson Dylan Hixon ’88 B.S. She and Alec also endowed a professorship of world religion at Yale, in addition to many other philanthropic efforts at the University.
According to her obituary, Adelaide was dedicated to humanitarian values for many years, volunteering to work for the United Nations Development Program, serving in separate diplomatic posts in Ghana and Western Samoa. She funded numerous scholarships at colleges and universities “because of the diversity that encouraged, and scholarships for teachers, so that they could enlarge their abilities,” the obituary states.
Adelaide is survived by two sons, Anthony and Andrew. She is predeceased by her husband, Alec, and a son, Lex ’63, for whom a teaching prize at Yale is named.

PUBLISHED: November 19, 2019
Note: Yale School of the Environment (YSE) was formerly known as the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES). News articles posted prior to July 1, 2020, refer to the School's name at that time.