SOS/Hinge to hold reunion at Homecoming

October 07, 2009

Alumni who volunteered in the College’s Student Opportunities Service and Operation Hinge programs will reunite on Oct. 24 at a special dinner and evening program featuring Walt Michael ’68.

A writer and musician, Michael will present "From These Hollers I Sing," a narrative and musical performance recounting his work as an SOS volunteer in Appalachia and his continued work for social justice as executive director of Common Ground on the Hill.

The Saturday performance at 7:30 p.m. in WMC Alumni Hall will also feature the announcement of two student awards: the newly created McTeer-Zepp Scholarship and the Griswold-Zepp Award for Volunteerism. This event is free and open to the public and all returning alumni are welcome.

Victor McTeer ’69 volunteered on SOS teams including one that landed him in the Mississippi Delta, the bedrock of the civil rights movement. After earning a law degree at Rutgers, McTeer returned to Mississippi where his civil rights practice earned him recognition and respect among the state’s governmental and industrial leaders. In the spring of 2009, he created a new scholarship in his and professor of Religious Studies Ira G. Zepp’s name to provide financial assistance to an upper-class student at McDaniel who demonstrates a commitment to improving the lives of poor people in rural or inner-city America.

The Griswold-Zepp Award is named for Drs. Earl L. Griswold, professor emeritus of Sociology who died in 1992, and Zepp, who died in August. Both educators were influential public-service-minded faculty who inspired scores of alumni to participate in the SOS/Hinge programs. This award was conceived by alumni in 1991 and provides a stipend to a student or team of students who undertake a volunteer-service project.

Members of SOS in 1963 after collecting 10,000 books and funds to establish a library in the Philippines.

SOS and Operation Hinge were two volunteer social-service organizations created and operated by students on the Hill from 1963 through 1971. SOS was the College’s own version of the Peace Corps and sent teams of student volunteers each summer to various domestic and international communities, including Appalachia, Mississippi, Belize, Bolivia, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. They went to work building lending libraries, establishing youth soccer and basketball programs and improving sanitation conditions.

Meanwhile, Project Hinge, operated through 1984, focused on tutoring and mentoring disadvantaged youth in Carroll County during the school year.

Reservations for the SOS/Hinge reunion dinner at 6 p.m. in McDaniel Lounge at $15 per person can be made on the alumni website.

Other special interest reunions scheduled include the 1959 Soccer team, 1999 Football team, Alpha Nu Omega sorority, Delta Pi Alpha and Gamma Beta Chi fraternities, GOLD alumni, Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, ROTC/Military, Swimming team alumni, Women’s basketball alumni. For more information about these reunions, go online to or call the Office of Alumni Relations at 410-857-2296.