McDaniel names Lightner new trustee; annual re-election of trustees announced

April 19, 2010

College alumnus, professor emeritus and historian James E. Lightner was elected to the McDaniel College Board of Trustees at its business meeting held on the Westminster campus April 17. Like the College’s namesake William Roberts McDaniel, Lightner has risen through the faculty ranks to be named a trustee after successfully serving in significant roles both inside and outside the classroom.

He first stepped on Western Maryland College campus (now McDaniel) as a freshman in 1955 and completed his B.A. degree summa cum laude with majors in English and Mathematics along with a minor in Education. Thanks to the mentoring of former professors John Makosky, Clyde Spicer, and Joseph Bailer, Lightner completed his coursework in three years, enrolling in eight consecutive summer school classes.

After only four years of public school teaching in his native Frederick, Md., the 25-year-old Lightner was invited to join the College faculty and thus, began his lifelong teaching career on the Hill. Known as a professor who was at once demanding of and intensely devoted to his students, Lightner received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1966, just four years after returning to his alma mater.

He published papers and books that earned him national distinction among mathematics educators, including in 1993 the George R. Mach Distinguished Service Award from Kappa Mu Epsilon (the undergraduate mathematics honor society).

But  Lightner’s prime interest has been in mentoring students. “I have always said that no one faculty member can successfully mentor every student, but every student deserves a mentor if they want or need one,” said Lightner in 2002 upon accepting the College’s Trustee Alumni Award.

“I take special pride…in helping [students] set new and realistic goals, find their true vocational calling, achieve new heights, finish their degrees, and go forth to be successes in their chosen professions,” he added.

From 1971 to 2001, he helped organize every commencement ceremony as College marshal and served on numerous campus committees ranging from Middle States evaluation teams to presidential inaugurations. He is the secretary and treasurer of the Delta of Maryland Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, which he helped found in 1980, and is currently a senator of this national honor society.

After his retirement from active teaching in 1998, Lightner spent seven years researching and writing the college history that was published in 2007 as Fearless and Bold and another 18 months on book tours meeting with college alumni. The Alumni Association has twice recognized him for both professional achievement and volunteerism with its Meritorious Service Award and Alumnus of the Year award.

Lightner, who holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University, is a longtime baritone with the College choir and the community-based Masterworks Chorale.

Reelected to serve terms expiring in 2013 are Ralph O. Frith ’84 of Woodbine; J. Elizabeth Garraway of Annapolis; Martin K.P. Hill of Lineboro; Marjorie R. Kimble M.Ed.’86; of Westminster; Carolyn P. Landis of Princeton, N.J.; Charles E. Moore Jr. ’71 of Davidsonville; Caryl Ensor Peterson ’58 of Baltimore; Bruce H. Preston ’75 of Towson; Donald M. Rembert ’61 of Reston, Va.; Barbara Payne Shelton ’70 of Towson; Robert “Jay” W. Smith Jr. of Hunt Valley; Nancy C. Voss ’54 of Denton; Robert E. Warfield ’62 of Bonita Springs, Fla.; and James H. Yates ’72 of Phoenix.

Elected to serve as at-large members to the executive committee for a one-year term are Kevin F. Hanley ’72 of Davidsonville; Sharon F. Manning ’65 of Nashville; Chitra Naganna of Westminster; and Albert J. Mezzanotte Jr. ’78 of Sykesville.

Carol A. Carter ’69 of Anna Maria, Fla. elected to trustee emerita status.

Board officers elected include Hill as chair, Mary Lynn Durham ’70 of Shaker Heights, Ohio as vice chair, and Mary Ann Friday of Westminster as secretary and Tamara Bowen of Taneytown as assistant secretary. Roger N. Casey, currently vice president of academic affairs and provost of Rollins College (Florida), was formally elected as president. His soon-to-be predecessor Joan Develin Coley was elected to president emerita status.