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Mary Lynn Durham ’70 and Bill Roj ’70

Mary Lynn Durham '70 and Bill Roj '70 will serve as the class of 2021 commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients. They have made it a point to practice philanthropy with organizations they support, including their undergraduate alma mater. Their recent $5 million leadership gift made the renovation of the new Roj Student Center possible. They also established The Mary Lynn Durham ’70 and William Roj ’70 Merit Scholarship Fund in 2007.

Mary Lynn Durham and Bill Roj

Wife and husband Mary Lynn Durham and Bill Roj, both 1970 alumni, have had a long association with the college since meeting on the Hill in the library their freshmen year and being married their senior year with the late Ira Zepp, Jr. ’52, professor emeritus of Religious Studies, officiating.

As students, Mary Lynn Durham, an English major and Education minor, was a member of Sigma Sigma Tau, now Phi Sigma Sigma sorority, and chaired the Honor Court. Bill Roj, an Economics major, was a member of Pi Alpha Alpha, now Phi Delta Theta fraternity. At the encouragement of the late Ralph Price, former head of the Economics department, Roj spent his junior year in India.

After graduation, Durham went on to earn a master’s degree in English at the University of Virginia and a law degree at Case Western Reserve, while Roj served as a second lieutenant in the U.S. military and earned a master’s degree in Economics from Duke University and law degree at the University of Virginia. Both built successful careers at Jones Day, the international law firm headquartered in Cleveland, before Durham established an independent law practice and Roj became chairman, president and CEO of ERICO, a leading global manufacturer and marketer of superior engineered electrical and fastening products for electrical, mechanical and civil applications.

Durham and Roj have made it a point to practice philanthropy with organizations they support, including their undergraduate alma mater. Their recent $5 million leadership gift made the renovation of the new Roj Student Center possible. They also established The Mary Lynn Durham ’70 and William Roj ’70 Merit Scholarship Fund in 2007.

Since 2003, Durham has been an active member of the McDaniel College Board of Trustees and has served as vice-chair since 2009. During this time, she has been involved on various committees including Academic Affairs, Budget and Finance, Campus Life, Enrollment Management and Marketing, and Finance and Facilities, among others. She chaired the Presidential Search Committee following President Joan Coley’s retirement and was involved in the most recent Presidential Search following the announcement of President Roger N. Casey’s retirement and appointment of Dr. Julia Jasken as McDaniel’s tenth president. She currently chairs the Executive Compensation Committee and serves on McDaniel’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Taskforce.

In 2007, Durham and Roj were each awarded the Trustee Alumni Award from the college. This is the highest alumni honor given at McDaniel in recognition of alumni career and service achievement. Both Durham and Roj were also selected to receive honorary Doctors of Laws degrees from McDaniel College during the college’s 151st Commencement for the Class of 2021 on May 22, 2021.

About Mary Lynn and Bill

Mary Lynn Durham '70

Career: Attorney

Class: 1970

Major: English

Minor: Education

Bill Roj '70

Career: Attorney, Chairman, president and CEO

Class: 1970

Major: Economics