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Alumni to receive Outstanding Achievement Award at Homecoming
Thursday, October 10, 2013

Two SUNY Fredonia alumni will receive the Outstanding Achievement Award during Homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 12. Dr. Constance (Wheat) Batty and Edward "Ted" DeDee will receive their awards, the highest honor given by the Fredonia Alumni Association, at a luncheon in the Horizon Room in the Williams Center at 11:30 a.m. For more information on Homecoming activities, visit the website at

Dr. Batty, a member of the Class of 1954, has had a long and successful career as an educator and administrator, with experiences from kindergarten through higher education. After earning her Bachelor of Science in Education degree from SUNY Fredonia, Dr. Batty attended Hofstra University, earning her Master of Science in Education degree in Reading. She later attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, earning her Ed.D. in Reading and Urban Education.

From 1991 until her retirement, Dr. Batty served as Acting Vice President for Student Affairs at SUNY College at Old Westbury, where she had been Director of Basic Education since 1987. She also served as co-director of the Long Island Economic Education Center and administrator/director of the Entrepreneurial Center at Old Westbury during 1990-91. Dr. Batty joined the faculty at Old Westbury in 1972 as an assistant professor, becoming an associate professor in 1980, and serving as chairperson of the Teacher Education Program from 1979 until 1986. In addition, Dr. Batty served in Fall 1978 as director of the Old Westbury/Excelsior Institute in Jamaica, West Indies, an international teacher training program. She was a private education consultant with many entities including the New York City Board of Education and the New York State Education Department, and taught at Adelphi University, Queensborough Community College and York College; served as a reading clinician/consultant and tutor, and taught special education and elementary education. Dr. Batty also served in several faculty governance positions at Old Westbury and for over 20 years was an education consultant and evaluator for the National Association of Independent Trade and Vocational Schools.

Dr. Batty’s many civic and professional contributions have included serving on the board of directors of the Girl Scouts of Nassau County and the Oyster Bay Community Foundation, as an appointee of SUNY Chancellor Clifton Wharton to the SUNY/City University of New York Task Force of Teacher Education, as secretary of the New York State Chapter of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education and secretary of the Association of Black Women in Higher Education/Long Island Chapter, as a member of the Validation Panel for the Core Battery of the National Teachers Examination in New York State, and as the leader of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s National Reading Project.

Dr. Batty, who has two daughters, resides in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Mr. DeDee, a member of the Class of 1971 and former director or the Michael C. Rockefeller Arts Center at SUNY Fredonia, became president and CEO of the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison, Wis., in April 2012 after a nationwide search. He assumed the responsibilities of managing a 380,000-sq.-ft. community treasure comprised of no less than seven performance spaces and five visual art galleries that form the largest, individual private gift of its kind to the arts in North America. In this short period of time, Mr. DeDee assumed his new role to lead the management structure reformation of Overture Center Foundation from that of a City of Madison-management operation to that of a private nonprofit playing host to more than 1,000 public events a year attracting close to a half million guests.

Mr. DeDee moved to Madison with experience managing a number of performing arts venues in Dallas, Nashville, Columbus, Ohio and New York State in a career that spans almost 40 years. He earned his Music Education degree from SUNY Fredonia, and by the time he was an upperclassman, spent much of his time at the newly-opened Michael C. Rockefeller Arts Center. After a short time in military service, Mr. DeDee returned to Fredonia to begin his career by managing the Rockefeller Arts Center from 1974 to 1978. He then moved to Rochester to manage the Eastman Theatre from 1978 to 1988, opened and managed the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas from 1988 to 1994, and served as executive vice president and general manager of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center from 1994 to 2002. Mr. DeDee then helped design and construct the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, and stayed on as its executive director until 2007, when he moved, once again, this time to open the McCoy Community Center for the Arts in the Columbus suburb of New Albany, Ohio, where he served as executive director for five years. He is one of only about a dozen performing arts venue managers in the country to hold the title of Certified Facility Executive (CFE) from the International Association of Venue Managers.

Mr. DeDee is married to the former Gail Andrews, ’71, (Music Education), whom he formally met at the President’s Reception for Freshmen during their first week as students on the Fredonia campus. They just celebrated their 40th anniversary.

For more information on the event, contact the Office of Alumni Affairs at (716) 673-3553.

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