Ten years ago on April 27, 2011, a tornado outbreak in Alabama left 240 people dead and thousands injured. Six University of Alabama students were killed in the tornado, one of those students was recent Jefferson State graduate and outstanding student Nicole Mixon.
Nicole was an honor student and completed her Associate Degree in Business at Jefferson State in 2010. She served as vice president of scholarship in the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society and graduated magna cum laude.
“Nicole had the drive and ambition to accomplish anything she wanted – she was a wonderful shining star,” said Jefferson State’s David Bobo. “She was a gifted honor student, she was kind to everyone she met, and she had a tremendous heart for others.”
Among her accomplishments at Jefferson State, Nicole led an effort to restore a nature trail and name it after the late Thomas E. Merritt, the husband of Jefferson State President Judy Merritt.
“The nature trail project meant so much to President Judy Merritt,” said Bobo. “Judy was already so proud of Nicole, but I think the re-opening and re-naming of the nature trial was just something that put Nicole over the top.”
The framed note from Nicole still hangs in the president’s conference room.
Nicole was the daughter of long-time Jefferson State employee Bill Mixon, who worked at the college for more than 35 years. Nicole grew up being around her dad’s coworkers and attending campus events, so she was known and very special to the Jefferson State family.
At the University of Alabama, she continued to be involved in several campus organizations including Golden Key and Gamma Phi Beta sorority. She served as treasurer for Golden Key during her first year in the club and was elected as Vice President.
Governor Kay Ivey has proclaimed April 27, 2021 as a Day of Remembrance in the state of Alabama. To commemorate the 10th anniversary, Ivey has also directed flags to remain displayed at half-staff on April 27.