Board of Regents to Confer Distinguished Citizen Award

April 17, 2016


BUFFALO, NY – The Canisius College Board of Regents will present community leader Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker with its Distinguished Citizen Award at its 50th annual Regents Scholarship Ball on Saturday, May 7, 2016 at Hyatt Regency Buffalo. Cocktails begin at 6:00 p.m. The awards presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. Dinner will immediately follow. The Distinguished Citizen Award is presented by the Canisius College Board of Regents and annually recognizes an individual for her contributions to the civic, cultural and/or economic well-being of Western New York.  

A native of Cuba, Dedecker is president and chief executive officer of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, a 501(c)-3 public charity that manages 800 endowment funds for individuals, families and organizations. In her role, Dedecker leads a focused growth and impact strategy dedicated to connecting people, ideas and resources to improve lives in Western New York. Under her leadership, the Community Foundation has facilitated numerous public and private sector collaborations to advance systemic change. These efforts have addressed issues such as school readiness, post-secondary attainment, lead-poisoning prevention, organizational development for arts organizations and environmental stewardship. Most recently, Dedecker oversaw the Community Foundation’s effort to launch Say Yes to Education in Buffalo. The initiative offers a college tuition guarantee for graduates of traditional public and charter schools in the city along with a coordinated system of supports.

In addition to Dedecker’s efforts on behalf of Western New York, she serves on several national boards including The Foundation Center and The Global Fund for Community  Foundations. She is the only North American member serving on this international board, which also includes representatives from Africa, Asia and Europe. The board of directors for the Global Fund for Community Foundations supports a mission of enhancing and expanding community philanthropy worldwide.

Dedecker previously served on the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation.   She is also a former co-chair of the United Nations International Year of the Volunteer, past president of the Association of Junior Leagues International and past president of the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Locally, Dedecker has served on many boards including the Albright Knox Art Gallery and National Federation for Just Communities.

A frequent speaker on philanthropy, community impact and non-profit governance, Dedecker’s efforts earned her the Governor’s Award for Service and the President’s Award for Service. In 2011, The Buffalo News recognized Dedecker as one of its Outstanding Citizens.

Dedecker holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Canisius College (1982) and a master’s degree in education from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Tickets for the 50th annual Regents Scholarship Ball are now on sale.  Tables of 10 are available at the Magis Level for $5,500; the Ignatian Level for $3,500; and the Griffin Level for $2,500. Young alumni pricing (classes of 2006-2015) and individual tickets are also available.

To purchase tickets or learn about sponsorship opportunities, visit or contact Cecelia Gotham, assistant director of stewardship and events, at 716-888-8228 or at

Canisius is one of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation and the premier private university in Western New York.