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Fredonia mourns the loss of Liz Praetorius, V.P. of Finance and Administration
Friday, February 05, 2016

Fredonia mourns the loss of Liz Praetorius, V.P. of Finance and Administration

The Fredonia campus is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Elizabeth Praetorius on Feb. 4. Ms. Praetorius had served as the university's vice president for Finance and Administration since August 1, 2014. She was 50 years of age.

"Liz," as she was known, oversaw an annual consolidated operating budget of more than $100 million, as well as a variety of administrative offices such as Accounting, Budget, Internal Control, Payroll and Purchasing, as well as the departments of Environmental Health, Safety & Sustainability; Facilities Planning; Facilities Services; the Faculty Student Association, Human Resources, Student Accounts, and University Services, which collectively employ more than 360 staff members.

"This is a shock for all who have worked with Liz and come to know her quick mind, good heart, and love of Fredonia," said Fredonia President Virginia Horvath in the hours immediately following the news. "Many of her colleagues came to her aid today and reached out to her family. In the wake of this news, let us continue to help and comfort one another."

Before joining the Fredonia family, Liz served SUNY Maritime College from 2010 through 2014 as its Chief Operating Officer and Vice President for Finance and Administration. In fact, her entire 27-year career was spent within the SUNY system. She spent the majority of it serving the University at Albany’s Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, including 19 years as its Director for Finance and Administration. Prior to her time with SUNY Maritime, she served as Assistant Vice Chancellor and Director in the Office of Strategic Planning and Accountability for one year within the SUNY System Administration offices in Albany, and was a member of the SUNY Chancellor’s Shared Services Steering Committee from 2012-14.

Liz was also a proud SUNY alumna — earning both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Albany — and a true believer in, and advocate for, public higher education.

She also loved volleyball. She served as a volunteer coach of the Maritime women’s volleyball team and had been a player and coach for USA Volleyball from 1993 to 2003. She also served on the USA Volleyball Regional Board of Directors, and the Albany YMCA Board of Directors.

At Fredonia, Liz was committed to managing resources well, ensuring that the campus' buildings and grounds were well maintained, and working with colleagues across campus to accomplish the mission. She earned a reputation for her insights, her ability to get things done, and her compassion for others. She was happy to call Fredonia her home, and she left us far too soon.

Liz' family received friends and colleagues on Saturday, Feb. 6, at the Larson-Timko Funeral Home in Fredonia.  In lieu of flowers, they established a scholarship through the Fredonia College Foundation in her memory:

The R. Elizabeth Praetorius Memorial Scholarship
To honor the memory of Fredonia’s Vice President for Finance and Administration (2014-16), her family, friends and colleagues established this scholarship for a student in any major who needs financial assistance to attend college. Support for students was her passion. Those who wish to contribute can visit or contact the Fredonia College Foundation at 716-673-3321.

Online condolences may also be sent to the family at

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