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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 2020 Alumni Association Award recipients (pictured left to right): James Wilberger '72; Aaron Slaughter '10; Alex Ober '63, M.Ed. '69; Priscilla Ord '63

Alumni Association Awards Banquet 2021

2020 Alumni Association Award Winners

On Oct. 17, 2020, nine alumni were honored virtually as part of the 2020 Homecoming at Home celebrations. October 15, 2021 we were able to celebrate them in person at our Alumni Association Awards & Sports Hall of Fame Celebration. 



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.

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.



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 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.






Jim Wilberger

Alumni College Service Award - James Wilberger '72

James Wilberger earned his bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts in 1972. In addition to his degree from McDaniel, Wilberger completed the film production graduate program at New York University in 1976 as well as film non-degree coursework at the University of California, Los Angeles.

For the past 28 years, Wilberger has supervised over 170 film credits, including movies and mini-series from development and prep through production and post-production. Wilberger spent more than a decade at Turner Network Television serving as the vice president of production and director of production before becoming a producer at Larry Levinson Productions in 2003. Since 2017, Wilberger has worked as a producer at Mission Pictures International.

Wilberger has hosted McDaniel students for film internships, assists the McDaniel Cinema Department with career networking programs, and donates instructional materials to the department.

Greg Shockley

Alumni College Service Award - Gregory Shockley '83

Gregory Shockley earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Studies in 1983. He also obtained a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Baltimore in 1985.

Since 2003, Shockley has hosted a free Alumni Night for McDaniel at his restaurant, Shenanigan’s Irish Pub on the boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland. He has served as a career services volunteer and speaker in 1994 and 2014, a reunion committee member in 2003, and a Carpe Diem campaign volunteer and alumni host in 2008.

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.