Donald Dedmon

Donald Newton Dedmon (August 13, 1931 – February 13, 1998) was an American educator.

Dedmon was born in Missouri, and received his undergraduate degree at Southwestern Missouri State College, and later, an M.A. and doctorate degree in oral education from University of Iowa.

He taught at high school and college levels before entering administration positions at Colorado State University.

After serving at Colorado State University he became vice president at Marshall University, and eventually acting president of the University, where he would lead the campus through the November 14, 1970, plane crash in which 37 members of the Marshall University Thundering Herd football squad, eight members of the coaching staff, 25 boosters, four flight crew members, and one employee of the charter company were killed. The team was returning home after a 17-14 loss against the East Carolina University Pirates (now their conference rivals) at Ficklen Stadium in Greenville, North Carolina. David Strathairn portrays Donald Dedmon in the movie We Are Marshall.

His tenure was short at Marshall before becoming president of Radford University on March 20, 1972. Dr. Dedmon served in this capacity for more than twenty years, during which time the University experienced great growth and a major change from an all woman's college to a co-ed institution, before reaching university status in 1979. The enrollment tripled during this time span.

He was considered an eloquent orator who believed in emphasizing faculty teaching over research work by university professors.

He retired from Radford University in 1994, and he died in Naples, FL in 1998.

The Dedmon Center at Radford University was named in his honor.