Alumnus trustee and professor emeritus honored for fundraising work
McDaniel College Trustee James Lightner ’59 was recently honored by the Western Maryland Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (WMAFP) for his volunteer fund-raising work for his alma mater. The Distinguished Volunteer Recognition luncheon in Middletown, Md., celebrated National Philanthropy Day. Lightner was among 24 volunteers from organizations all over Maryland recognized for their tenacity, passion and persuasiveness.
“Jim’s passion for and commitment to McDaniel College truly shine through in every aspect of his relationship with his alma mater,” said Robin Brenton ’86, associate vice president of Alumni Relations. “His McDaniel family has been able to honor him in many ways but it is wonderful when the external community recognizes Jim’s accomplishments and value.”
Professor of Mathematics Emeritus, Lightner has served the college since his appointment to the college’s faculty five decades ago. In addition to serving on many campaign committees and assisting with personal solicitations, Lightner spent seven years writing “Fearless and Bold: A History of McDaniel College, 1866-2002,” the proceeds of which have gone to an endowed student scholarship.
His association with what was then Western Maryland College began when he arrived in 1955. He completed his B.A. degree summa cum laude with majors in both English and Mathematics along with a minor in Education in a record three years, and went on to earn his Ph.D. at The Ohio State University.
After only four years of public school teaching in his native Frederick, Md., the then 25-year-old graduate was invited to join the College faculty in 1962 and thus, began his lifelong teaching career on the Hill. He earned the Distinguished Professor of the Year four years later, and he’s been a mentor to students, his peers and alumni from at least three generations. He was appointed a trustee of the college in 2010.