Charles "Doc" Dey, M.A.T.'58, will receive the 2010 Alumni Council Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education. Working for 50 years as a teacher, administrator, and social entrepreneur, Dey is known for fighting for racial equity and equal educational opportunity. He will receive the award during HGSE's 2010 convocation ceremony on Wednesday, May 26.
"When I learned of the Alumni Council Award, I was surprised, delighted, and honored," Dey said. "To be singled out in this way by the Ed School is far beyond anything I might have imagined. Moreover, in that any achievement worth noting is invariably authored and implemented by many colleagues working together, this recognition is especially humbling."
A Navy veteran and former Peace Corps overseas administrator, Dey began his professional career as an Andover history teacher and then as associate dean at Dartmouth College, where he created a highly regarded summer transition program to help minority students qualify for private secondary schools. Subsequent leadership positions included Dean of Dartmouth's William Jewett Tucker Foundation and head of the Choate Rosemary Hall School in Connecticut, emphasizing access, diversity and a full time office of public/private collaboration.
When his quadriplegic friend persuaded him to turn his efforts toward empowering young people with disabilities, Dey created Start on Success (SOS), a National Organization on Disability (NOD) program that aims to provide introductory job experiences for predominantly minority high school students with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities. To date, there are 25 sites in six states with over 85 percent of more than 3,000 SOS graduates, who have been successfully placed in full-time jobs or further education. In 2006, Dey received the Purpose Prize, which recognizes individuals who are defying expectations by channeling creativity and talent to address critical social problems at the local, regional, or national level. Currently, Dey serves as vice chairman of the NOD board, which works to significantly increase the number of Americans with disabilities in the workforce.
"Charles Dey is the HGSE Alumni Council's unanimous first choice to receive the 2010 Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education. His lifelong work and accomplishments exemplify the devotion and expertise alumni bring to their work," said Deborah Hirsch, Ed.M.'86, Ed.D.'89, chair of the Alumni Council. "The mission of the Ed School is to prepare graduates to have a deep and far reaching impact in the world. I can't think of anyone who is more deserving and represents this more than Charles."
Friends and colleagues in the extended HGSE community have also expressed enthusiasm for Dey's selection. "What on earth would Dylan Thomas make of Charles 'Doc' Dey? The Welsh poet urged us, 'Do not go gentle into that good night,' but to 'rage, rage against the dying of the light,' but this year's Alumni Council Award winner has, as that good night approaches as it must for us all, has neither raged nor gone gently. Instead, he has gotten better, more productive, and more giving with each passing year," said veteran education correspondent John Merrow, Ed.D.'73, founder of Learning Matters. "Ever the gentleman, Charles F. Dey brings honor to our profession and stands as a model husband, father, citizen, and friend."
HGSE first established the Alumni Council Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education in 1985 in order to recognize the significance of service to education by alumni. Each year, the Alumni Relations Office solicits nominations for the award from the alumni body. Candidates must be graduates of HGSE and have made a noteworthy contribution to education during their professional careers.