Roy Dexheimer '55, P’86, GP'18, LL.D. '80

Honorary Trustee; Retired educator

A respected educator and administrator, Honorary Trustee Roy Dexheimer ’55, P’86, GP’18, LL.D. ’80 has been a stalwart leader in the education and arts sectors in the greater Finger Lakes region and the HWS community for more than 50 years.

Dexheimer served as superintendent at several school districts across New York State for four decades, including 18 years as superintendent of Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga Board of Cooperative Educational Services. He began his career as an English teacher for the U.S. Army, before teaching English at West Irondequoit High School in Rochester, N.Y. Later, he served as superintendent of Batavia City Schools and South Kortright Central School District, and as interim superintendent in the South Seneca and Groton Central Schools.

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. A former president of the Council of School Superintendents and of the Genesee Arts Council, Dexheimer also served on 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 the boards of several other local educational organizations.

In the Ithaca, N.Y. community, Dexheimer spent three decades with the Hangar Theatre, championing of educational programming and the arts. Now an emeritus member of its board, Dexheimer was celebrated in April 2018 with a special gala in his honor. Additionally, he has served as a member of the Cayuga Medical Center Foundation Board and as 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 president of the Hobart College Alumni Council from 1972 to 1973. Elected to the HWS Board of Trustees in 1973, Dexheimer served on the Board until 2003, when he was named an honorary member. In 2004, Dexheimer led an effort by the HWS Board of Trustees to establish the Touching the Future award, recognizing early educators for the significant and enduring role they play in the lives of Hobart and William Smith students.

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 the Colleges. During the 2017 Charter Day ceremony in which he offered the keynote address, Dexheimer was awarded the Hobart College Alumni Association’s highest honor, the Hobart Medal of Excellence

As a student, Dexheimer 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 served as president of his junior and senior classes.

He went on to earn a master’s degree from Teacher’s College at Columbia University and his doctorate in education from the University of Rochester.