Dear ACDFA Folks,
We lost one of our own yesterday, quite unexpectedly. Ed Burgess passed away in his sleep sometime during the night on May 11 or 12th. Ed was a great friend and supporter of ACDFA. I first met Ed in 2006 when he was beginning to work in his role as conference coordinator of the 2007 North-Central Conference at Univ. of WI, Milwaukee. I marveled at his inclusiveness, collaborative spirit, and generosity in all areas that he touched. He had a big vision and he was more than willing to put in the time on the ground to make that vision work. Shortly afterwards in 2008, he was voted onto the ACDFA Board of Directors. Just this fall he began his first term as Regional Director of the North-Central region. He was excited about the upcoming board meetings and participating for the first time as a regional director. He was looking forward to hosting another conference in 2014.
Thank you to those who have written about Ed. I'd like to share a few of your words because they capture him so well. Mary Cochran, who did her MFA work at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, wrote about "the wonderful, ebullient Ed Burgess...[He} was a fantastic artist, teacher and creator. He helped many of us 'returning professionals' through grad school with love, light and, yes, quite a bit of fun. He will be greatly missed." Julie Kerr-Berry, who passed the North-Central Regional Director baton to Ed and was already working with him on her 2013 conference wrote, "He was such a fine human being and tremendous colleague. I will miss him and his generous spirit, as I am sure, will ACDFA." Heather Klopchin, this year's host of the North-Central conference who worked closely with Ed in his regional director role, wrote, "What an incredible teacher and contributor to ACDFA."
I don't think I've ever known anyone who thanked other people so consistently and with such sincerity for letting him help them. I have no doubt that he left several "families" grieving. His loss to the ACDFA family is tremendous. I miss him already.
American College Dance Festival Association
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