Walter “Biff” Dewey


DOB: 1/22/1915 Location: Milwaukee, WI
DOD: 2/22/1994 Location: De Kalb, IL




  • Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Antioch College (1938)
  • Masters of Fine Arts, University of Iowa (1947)
  • PhD in Speech and Dramatic Arts, University of Iowa (1952)

Employment History:

  • U. S. Army Signal Corp, PTO (WWII)
  • Faculty, University of Iowa (1946-1957)
  • Faculty, The Ohio State University (1957-1966)
  • Faculty, University of Northern Illinois (1966-1981)
  • Theatre Consultant on numerous projects including theatre buildings at Wisconsin State University, Knox College, University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse, University of Vermont, Illinois Central Community College, and Carl Sandberg Community College


  • Authored numerous articles on theatre practice and lighting while serving as a Contributing Editor of Players Magazine
  • Authored additional articles for The Quarterly Journal of Speech and Educational Theatre Journal
  • Professor Dewey was also responsible for supervising articles and projects for the USITT when he served as Technical Secretary for USITT (1970-1972)

USITT Involvement and offices held:

  • Became a member in the early 1960s shortly after the founding of the Institute
  • Served as a founding member of the Midwest Section
  • Chair of the Midwest Section
  • Conference Committee for 1968 Chicago Conference
  • Multiple terms on the Board of Directors
  • Technical Secretary (1969-1972)
  • International Liaison Committee

Awards and Honors:

  • Elected USITT Fellow (1989)
  • NIU Excellence in Teaching Award (1980)
  • Upon his retirement Professor Dewey was honored by the University of Northern Illinois with the establishment of an Endowment in his name (1981)