John Auxier Scholarship


Monday’s Pellissippi State Scholarship of the Week focuses on the John Auxier Scholarship.

Dr. John Auxier was a past member of the Pellissippi State Foundation Board of Trustees. He was a remarkable man who lived an impactful life that touched many of our Pellissippi State students thorough his scholarship.

The scholarship provides $350 each year to a student who has a minimum 2.5 GPA, a letter of recommendation and has verifiable financial need. Since its inception in 1992, the John Auxier Scholarship has been awarded to 25 students.

After Auxier passed a 2-year college equivalency exam, he quit high school in his senior year (1943) to enter the Army Air Corp as a cadet. Subsequently, he became a fighter pilot and continued his love of airplanes throughout his life. After leaving the Air Force he continued his education at Berea College, graduating in 1951 with a B.A. in Physics. He was then awarded an AEC Fellowship at Vanderbilt University and received a M.S. in Physics in 1952. In 1972 he received his Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and returned to ORNL to become the Director of the Health Physics Division.

While a graduate student at ORNL in 1952 John was hired by the University of Texas where he coordinated and directed the Health Physics Program and was subsequently appointed Chairman of the Department of Physics and Engineering of the Radiobiological Laboratory. He returned to ORNL in 1955 as a researcher.

Dr. Auxier was considered an expert in the areas of nuclear engineering and health physics. He directed research in the investigation of pathways of exposure and biological effects of pollutants, both nuclear and non-nuclear, and toxic agents safety, with emphasis on the needs of practicing health physicists. He participated in, and ultimately directed, successful efforts to obtain radiation doses for the survivors of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. He has been a consultant to the Radiation Effects Research Foundation of Japan.

Dr. Auxier’s special consulting activities have included the President’s Commission on the Accident at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant. Also, he was the head of the task committee health physics and dosimetry for this incident. He has been a member of the Advisory Committee to the U.S. Department of Energy for the Northern Marshall Islands and a member of the Department of Energy/Defense Nuclear Agency Inspection and Advisory Team for the Cleanup of Enewetak Atoll.

He received many awards including being inducted into the Engineering Hall of Fame at Georgia Institute of Technology in 1996; receiving a Honorary Doctorate of Science, Berea College in 1987. He served on the Board of Trustees at Berea College for many years and at the time of his death was an Honorary Trustee of Berea College.

He published over 100 papers and authored the Energy Research and Development Agency (ERDA-later to become the Department of Energy) Prestige Series book entitled ICHIBAN: Dosimetry for the Survivors of the Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He served on numerous committees.

In 1992 Dr. Auxier founded Auxier & Associates Inc, Knoxville, providing radiological health, safety and environmental consulting.

Dr. Auxier’s proudest accomplishment was the founding of the Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge in 2010.

Dr. Auxier passed away this past August leaving a remarkable legacy.

Donate to the John Auxier Scholarship