Skip to main

Alumni Association Awards

Our alumni are pretty outstanding. And once a year, we have an opportunity to recognize outstanding alumni at our Alumni Association Awards Banquet. The McDaniel College Alumni Association awards program honors individuals who personify the College’s tradition of excellence. In their careers, communities and at the College, these alumni exemplify what it truly means to be a Green Terror.


Some of our 2022 Alumni Association Award recipients (pictured left to right):  John W. “Jack” Fringer Jr. ’60; Dr. Theresa Anne Hess ’07; Michelle Shearer M.S. ’96; Marcus "Lee" Primm '89; Don Dea ’76;  McDaniel College President Julia Jasken

Alumni Association Award

2022 Alumni Association Award Winners

On Sept. 30, 2022, six alumni were honored at our Alumni Association Awards & Sports Hall of Fame Celebration. 



Alumnus of the Year 2022 Lee Primm

Alumnus of the Year - Marcus "Lee" Primm '89

Marcus “Lee” Primm graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 1989. He is a decorated Vietnam War veteran and attained the rank of lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy.

The former development officer for The Arc of Carroll County and a retired banker, Primm previously served as director of special projects at McDaniel. During his tenure at the college, he was involved in fundraising for the construction of the Kenneth R. Gill Stadium and served as staff liaison in establishing the Green and Gold Club, which provides annual support to McDaniel’s athletic teams and student-athletes. He was also involved in the Carroll County Student Grant Program that provides grants to every student from Carroll County toward their McDaniel tuition.

Primm has continued to remain an active member of his alma mater and was honored in 2015 with the college’s Alumni Community Service Award. He is the former chair of the Alumni Association Awards Committee and most recently assisted with the water tower project spearheaded by the WMC Heritage Society.

Alumni Association Awardee Theresa Hess

Young Alumni Award - Dr. Theresa Anne Hess ’07

Dr. Theresa Anne Hess graduated summa cum laude from the college in 2007 with departmental honors in Biochemistry and Biology. She went on to earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Illinois in 2011.

Hess then completed a competitive one-year private practice internship at Oradell Animal Hospital in Paramus, New Jersey, before moving across the country to Las Vegas to complete a three-year surgical residency at a specialty hospital, where she had the opportunity to operate on several exotic species, including lions, capybaras, a camel, a fox, and a sugar glider.

Following that residency, she worked as a small animal surgeon in Gainesville, Florida, before moving to New York. She is currently a surgeon for a private specialty veterinary practice and emergency hospital in Syracuse, New York.

While at McDaniel, Hess played all four years for the Green Terror women’s basketball team, during which time the team made three NCAA tournament appearances and a Sweet 16 appearance. She was also involved as a peer mentor and as a member of the Beta Beta Beta, Gamma Sigma Epsilon, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Trumpeters honors societies, as well as Catholic Campus Ministries.



Don Dea Alumni Association Award Recipient

Alumni Community Service Award – Don Dea ’76

Don Dea graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business Administration in 1976. He also holds an M.B.A. from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.

As a strategic and business advisor, Dea has worked with associations, organizations, and businesses in the private, nonprofit, and government sectors. He is the founder of the ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership AAPI Advisory Group, co-founder of Fusion Productions, and co-producer of digitalNow, an executive summit for association and nonprofit leaders.

He previously served in senior executive roles in global technology, marketing, and real estate, including the Xerox Corp., and co-founded several high- technology companies and construction firms. He was special assistant to the Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice’s President’s Executive Exchange Program.

Currently, he is board chair for Excelsior University in Albany, New York, America’s VetDogs, and the Guide Dog Foundation. He is also on the board of directors of HIMSS Media and was previously on the boards of the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Salvation Army. He was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Association Executives and was recognized as ASAE’s Academy of Leaders Award Winner in 2021 for serving the association profession.

Alumni Association Awardee Jack Fringer

Alumni College Service Award - John W. “Jack” Fringer Jr. ’60

John “Jack” W. Fringer Jr. graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and Physical Education in 1960. He was a member of the college’s ROTC program and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army after graduation. He served for 21 years, with tours of duty in Germany, Vietnam, Korea, and the United States. He earned a master’s degree from the Florida Institute of Technology and, following his retirement from the Army in 1981, was employed by the World Bank, where he advised countries in the Middle East, Asia, and Eastern Europe.

Fringer has previously volunteered as chair of the Green Terror Sports Hall of Fame committee at McDaniel, and as an alumni coordinator for the college in the Washington, D.C., area. He has also been actively involved in the community as a member of the Citizen Advisory Committee of the Calvert County Board of Education and on the board of directors of the Calvert Marine Museum.






Michelle Shearer Alumni Association Awardee

Alumni Professional Achievement Award - Michelle Shearer M.S. ’96

Michelle Shearer earned a master’s degree in Deaf Education from McDaniel in 1996. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Princeton University, is fluent in American Sign Language, and is certified in special education. Shearer was named the 2011 National Teacher of the Year, serving as a yearlong ambassador for public education.

She has taught all levels of chemistry and math in her 26-year career at Urbana High School, the Maryland School for the Deaf, and Frederick High School. Her passion for teaching Maryland’s “scientists of the future” and her belief that “chemistry is everywhere and for everyone” has allowed students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn and thrive. This led her to be recognized as the 2010 Frederick County Teacher of the Year and 2011 Maryland Teacher of the Year. She was also named an “Influential Marylander” in 2012 for her contributions to public education and earned the “Trailblazing Leadership” citation in 2015 from Frederick County Public Schools.

Currently, Shearer is project manager for high school innovation and transformation for Frederick County Public Schools, where she is working to re-envision the high school model and personalize education for diverse learners in a competency-based learning environment.

Alumni Association Awardee The Late Otto Guenther

Lifetime Service Award - Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Otto J. Guenther ’63

The late Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Otto J. Guenther graduated with a degree in Economics in 1963. He was a member of the Green Terror Battalion Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program and went on to serve in the U.S. Army for 34 years, holding various command and staff positions, receiving multiple prestigious military awards. He was among the highest-ranking of the 12 military generals to graduate from McDaniel College.

In 2006, Guenther returned to the Hill to serve on the McDaniel College Board of Trustees. He was an active member, vice chair, and chair of multiple committees before being named chair of the board in 2019. Guenther’s patience, compassion, and strategic approach to complex situations served him well as he helped navigate multiple executive-level searches, a presidential transition, initial stages of a strategic planning process, and challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For his steadfast commitment to McDaniel, Guenther was awarded the college’s Trustee Service Award (1996), Alumni Community Service Award (2013), and the Alumni College Service Award (2016). In May 2021, McDaniel created the Lieutenant General (Ret.) Otto Guenther Leadership Award to honor his lifelong dedication to both the Army and McDaniel.