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Four To Receive 2013 Living Landmark Awards

The Historical Society of Rockland County will recognize Edmund and Susan Gordon and Richard and Jan Deats as its 2013 Living Landmark Awards recipients at an event in September.

The Living Landmark award honors individuals who have demonstrated commitment and service and who have made a difference in Rockland and beyond while representing the county’s spirit and history.   

Edmund Gordon holds professorships at Yale University and Teachers College, Columbia University and is Director Emeritus of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME) at Teachers College, Columbia University. Professor Gordon also serves as Chairman of the Gordon Commission on the future of assessment in education. 

After Susan Gordon gradated from Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C., she began a pediatrics practice in Haverstraw. She is a Licentiate of The American Board of Pediatrics and a Fellow of The American Academy of Pediatrics. In 1958 Dr. Gordon became an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at New York Medical College and then at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons and taught at both institutions for 25 years.

In December 2006 the Gordons, who live in Pomona, were inducted into the Rockland County Civil Rights Hall of Fame.

Professor Gordon's career spans professional practice, scholarly life as a minister, clinical and counseling psychologist, research scientist, author, and editor. From July 2000 until August 2001, he served as vice president for Academic Affairs and interim dean of Faculty at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Dr. Gordon is an elected Fellow of the American Psychological Association, American Society of Psychological Science, American Association for Orthopsychiatry and Fellow and Life Member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1968 he was elected to the National Academy of Education. The Educational Testing Service created the “Edmund W. Gordon Chair for Policy Evaluation and Research” to recognize his contributions to developments in education including Head Start, compensatory education, school desegregation, and supplementary education. In 2005, Columbia University named its Harlem campus after him.

Dr. Gordon served for three years as a member of The National Panel on the Measurement of the Program Effects of Head Start and for eight years on the East Ramapo Central School District Board of Education. The Health Center of The Lexington School for the Deaf was named in her honor, as are the classrooms and computer center of the Martin Luther King Jr. Multi-Purpose Center in Spring Valley. She served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Nyack Hospital and board member and currently as president of the Martin Luther King Multi-Purpose Center’s Board of Trustees. 

Richard Deats worked for the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) from 1972 until his retirement in 2005 and held positions including executive secretary and director of interfaith activities. A United Methodist minister, Deats taught social ethics at Union Theological Seminary in the Philippines from 1959 to 1972 and has led workshops and lectured on active nonviolence in more than a dozen countries. 

Deats headed numerous Journeys of Reconciliation to Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union during the Cold War and was part of an FOR peace effort in Iraq. He served as a member of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday Commission until its terminated in 1996. Deats has authored numerous books and written about Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.

Jan Deats is a classical pianist and music teacher at the Rockland Conservatory of Music in Pearl River, Elizabeth Morrow School in Englewood, NJ and Manhattan School of Music. She is also on the board and faculty of Summer Trios.

With cellist Alvin McCall, Jan Deats is part of the McCall-Deats Duo, which has performed throughout the United States in Europe and Russia. The McCall Deats Duo has been performing since 1985 when they started an annual chamber music series at the Rockland Conservatory of Music. The Deats are residents of Nyack.

The Living Landmark honors will be presented on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 12:30 p.m. at The Comfort Inn & Suites in Nanuet. Benefactor tickets cost $100 per person and sponsor tickets are priced at $75 each. Contact Clare Sheridan at c.bowes.sheridan@gmail.com by September 7th to make reservations. Commemorative Journal greetings, ads and sponsorships are also available.

The Living Landmark Awards are one way the Historical Society brings attention to its Historical Marker Program, which identifies and highlights local historic sites. The Historical Society of Rockland County located in New City is a nonprofit educational institution and the principal repository for original documents and artifacts relating to the County. Its headquarters is located on a four-acre site featuring a history museum and the 1832 Jacob Blauvelt House.

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