Dear Alumni and Friends,

During the 2020-2021 academic year, we all had our share of challenges, but what really stands out are our triumphs. When COVID-19 disrupted our world, we had an opportunity to showcase the strength of our community. We proved that we have never been more resilient, flexible, or more committed to McDaniel students and our mission. I am incredibly grateful for the generosity of our community. You were a light for McDaniel during dark times, a beacon shining brightly to help our students stay on course. Because of you, McDaniel maintained our commitment to students, faculty, and staff: “Community Safe. McDaniel Strong.” Thank you.

We are seeing incredible displays of resilience in our community and there is so much to be hopeful for as we look to the future. Here are just a few achievements you made possible in the 2020-2021 academic year:

  • Donor-supported student-faculty research is a hallmark of the McDaniel experience, and during the summer of 2020 when many faculty members led virtual research, two Chemistry professors performed COVID-19 research with students in labs on campus.
  • To keep our students and staff safe, more than 10,000 directional and safety signs were installed throughout campus, and 3,000 pieces of furniture were removed to maintain social distancing. Additionally, 8,857 COVID tests were administered on campus throughout the year as part of routine surveillance testing.
  • After having to host virtual ceremonies in 2020, we were thrilled to celebrate the Classes of 2020 and 2021 with in-person Commencement ceremonies this spring. 587 bachelor’s and master’s degrees were conferred for the Class of 2021, and 555 for the Class of 2020.
  • In Spring 2021, McDaniel was the only school in the Centennial Conference that did not have to cancel an athletic competition due to COVID.
  • The speed and generosity with which our alumni and friends supported the newly established Emergency Relief Fund allowed the college to remain flexible and adapt to changing student needs. More than $125,000 has been raised to-date, supporting needs ranging from technology related to virtual learning to financial aid needed to continue student learning.

And amid all of this, the college did not lose sight of diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Chaired by Trustee Patrick Stokes ’91, a DEI Trustee Taskforce set out with an overarching goal of eliminating historic and ongoing institutional racism at McDaniel and advocating for anti-racist practices. An alumni-, faculty-, and staff-led advisory group began the work of examining data, policies, and practices to spur change. McDaniel remains committed to welcoming divergent perspectives and experiences that strengthen the educational experience.

Here on the Hill, we never stop climbing. This has been our anthem. But during this final year of my time as McDaniel’s ninth president, you reinforced what has always been true — no one on this Hill climbs alone. When Green Terrors come together, we can do great things. Thank you for your unwavering support of McDaniel and our students. It is truly an honor to be part of the McDaniel family.

With Gratitude,

Dr. Roger N. Casey Hon. D.H.L. ’21

McDaniel College’s Ninth President


By the Numbers



Priscilla Owusu ’21 came to the U.S. from Ghana with her family just eight short years ago and she hasn’t let an opportunity pass her by since. “When I took my first steps on the Hill, I was scared as a first-generation student, but also excited for the road ahead and the new person I was planning to become,” Owusu says. Planning a career as a surgeon, she graduated in May with a major in Chemistry with a specialization in Biochemistry and a minor in French. “My internship and volunteer work at University of Maryland Medical Center Shock Trauma Center cemented my plan to continue into the medical field,” says Owusu. Over the summer of 2021 and Jan Term 2021, Owusu also participated in student-faculty research with Dr. Dana Ferraris. Along with other students, she researched small molecules to inhibit the lifecycle of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. “The relationships I’ve been able to form with staff and faculty really shocked me,” Owusu says. “Dr. Ferraris totally changed my perspective on professors, and he brought me out of my shell.” But like most liberal arts students, Owusu didn’t limit herself to the classroom. Along the way, she also learned to sign in American Sign Language classes, to compete in track and field, and to dance with Africa’s Legacy and other cultural groups. The winner of the 2021 Mary Ward Lewis Prize for outstanding female graduate, Owusu rang the bell on Commencement Day full of hope for her future.

Learn more about the Class of 2021»



Jules Dotterweich wasn’t sure what she wanted to study when she was looking for colleges, so a small, community-minded liberal arts college like McDaniel was a perfect fit for her to create connections with professors, explore her options, and keep up with her passion for soccer. She discovered the Hill during the recruiting process and says, “It’s the school I was supposed to be playing soccer at. The coaching staff is one of the most dedicated I’ve ever worked with in my life.” But her course of study was still up in the air until her sophomore year. “I took Principles of Accounting in the fall and that’s when I fell in love with accounting,” Dotterweich says. “I’ve always liked math and knew I was good at numbers, but that class — which I was just taking to fulfill a requirement — was transformative.” She credits Associate Professor Kerry Duvall with that revelation, saying that she created a classroom that Dotterweich was excited to grow and learn in every single day. “Between Interviewing Day and internships like the one I’m completing this summer at KPMG, Professor Duvall is really invested in our lives as students,” she says. “She’s in it for the long haul and makes me want to strive to be successful.” Her Accounting Economics and Business Administration major also led Dotterweich to compete in the 2021 Entrepreneurship Competition, where she worked with alumni mentors to pitch her business idea for a vegan taco truck, for which she and her partner won the top prize of $5,000. She may not have known what she wanted to do when she stepped on the Hill for the first time, but thanks to the support and real-life experiences she found at McDaniel, she’s got her path laid out in front of her going into her senior year.

Read more»

Jules Dotterweich (left) and Jessie Titus (right), creators of Life Tacos.

Emergency Relief Fund

To date, more than $125,000 has been raised.

In spring 2020, in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Emergency Relief Fund was established. Initially used to provide technology needed to support students with virtual learning, the fund now assists students with urgent needs including financial assistance due to changing circumstances.

“I would like to thank the donors for granting me emergency funds at a time of need. During COVID-19, there was a teacher shortage, and I was hired by my former principal midway through my senior year to work as a permanent substitute — pending the completion of my degree. Being that this was all during COVID, I had to balance multiple jobs plus the teaching to stay afloat financially and when the emergency funds were granted to me, it took a weight off my shoulders. Had I not received these funds, I probably would have had to delay my graduation. In a time like COVID, where we dealt with so many uncertainties, this was a blessing. Thank you to all the donors.” - Emily Rosado-Cruz '21

A message of thanks...

In my 30-plus years on the Hill, there have been many changes. New buildings, several presidents, new majors, and generations of students. But one constant has been the steadfast commitment of alumni and friends. You shape the life-changing experiences that happen here on the Hill. Because of you, our students experience more, learn more, and achieve more. Thank you.

As I leave the Hill, there is no question it is in the capable hands of so many who love McDaniel as much as I do. I am incredibly grateful to have been part of this community, and McDaniel will always be a part of my life.

Thank you for all you do and will continue to do for the Hill.

With thanks,

Vicky Shaffer,

Vice President for Institutional Advancement, 2016-2021 Institutional Advancement Staff, 1990-2021

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Our college's motto, E Tenebris in Lucem Voco, translates to "I Call You Out of Darkness Into Light."
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Christina Goodman