As part of the annual Charter Day celebration, the Hobart College Alumni Association will present Honorary Trustee Roy Dexheimer ’55, P’86, GP’18, LL.D. ’80, a retired educator, with its highest honor – the Hobart Medal of Excellence. Charter Day 2017, which marks the 195th anniversary of Hobart College’s founding, will take place on Friday, April 21 at 4:30 in St. John’s Chapel.
Charter Day is held each spring to commemorate the granting of Hobart’s charter by the State of New York on April 10, 1822. The Hobart Medal of Excellence is traditionally awarded at the celebration. The Medal honors an alumnus who by reason of outstanding accomplishments in his particular business, profession or community service, has brought honor and distinction to his alma mater.
Dexheimer, who will also give the Charter Day address, has been a stronghold in the HWS alumni community and the greater Finger Lakes region since graduating from Hobart. Dexheimer served as superintendent at several school districts across New York State during the past four decades. He served as district superintendent at Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga BOCES for 18 years, and as superintendent of Batavia City Schools, South Kortright Central School District, and as interim superintendent in the South Seneca and Groton Central Schools. He began his career as an English teacher for the U.S. Army and also served three years as an English teacher at West Irondequoit High School in Rochester, N.Y.
For his educational leadership across the state, Dexheimer was awarded the 1999 Distinguished Service Award by the New York State Council of School Superintendents – the highest honor bestowed by the Council. He also received the Distinguished Educator Award at the 50th anniversary celebration of the School of Education at Michigan State University. He served as the president of the Council of School Superintendents and president of the Genesee Arts Council. He also served and chaired the Board of Directors of the Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County, the Business-Industry Education Council, and Tompkins County Public Library, as well as on the boards of several other local educational organizations. Dexheimer spent three decades with the Hangar Theatre, was a member of the Cayuga Medical Center Foundation Board, and was a member and president of the Ithaca City School District Board of Education after his retirement as district superintendent.
Since graduating from Hobart with a B.A. in English in 1955, Dexheimer has held a number of leadership roles within the HWS community. From 1999 to 2001, he served as interim vice president of Advancement, and was also president of the Hobart College Alumni Council from 1972 to 1973. He was elected to the HWS Board of Trustees in 1973 and in 2003 was named an honorary member. The Hobart Alumni Association and the William Smith Alumnae Association honored Dexheimer with citations for his service to the Colleges and, on the occasion of his 50th Reunion, presented him with the Hobart Distinguished Service Award for Lifetime Service to his alma mater.
As a student, he was a member of the Beta Sigma Tau fraternity, the interdormitory and interfraternity councils, Board of Control, the Chimera, Druid and Orange Key honors societies, the Herald student newspaper, Schola Cantorum, and was the manager of the baseball and football teams. He was named an outstanding senior, was the first recipient of the Durfee Award, and was president of his junior and senior classes.
Dexheimer earned a master’s degree from Teacher’s College at Columbia University, and his doctorate in education from the University of Rochester. He and his wife, Frances, reside in Ithaca, N.Y. Dexheimer’s granddaughter, Miranda Smith ’18, is a third year student at William Smith, currently studying abroad in South Africa.
Student Trustee Zachary Grattan ’17, a double major in international relations and religious studies, will give the student address at the ceremony. Grattan is a member of the Hobart basketball team, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior, and is a recipient of the Norbert A. Busch Prize for passion and dedication in German studies.