Winter 2024 Issue

New Alumni Award Announced

Civic & Humanitarian Leadership Award

By Claire De Lisle M.B.A. ’21

In 2023, the William & Mary Alumni Association Board of Directors created the Alumni Civic & Humanitarian Leadership Award to recognize alumni who are significantly improving or enhancing the lives of others. Recipients exemplify the university’s values, dedicating significant time, leadership and energy to serve humanity. Through their volunteer efforts, participation in charitable work and selfless actions, they make a meaningful impact on communities and society as a whole. Those who receive this award are compassionate citizens who devote their knowledge, skills and time to serve the greater good. The award is bestowed during Charter Day Weekend as part of the Alumni Medallion & Service Awards Ceremony. A recording of the 2024 ceremony is now available to view on the Awards & Recognition webpage.

To nominate deserving alumni for this or other awards, please visit


Steve McNameeSTEVEN E. “STEVE” MCNAMEE ’81 is a teacher who transforms lives by going the extra mile for his students in and out of the classroom. For nearly 25 years, he has inspired and educated low-income and at-risk students in Richmond, Virginia. Principals and friends tell stories of how he helped move a student’s family out of unsafe housing, uses his own resources to take his students to local sporting and cultural events, and sets them on the path to success, academically and socially.

“Steve is in the trenches every single day all day long with his fifth-grade students, so many of whom live in enormously challenging circumstances, whether it’s living in public housing communities or coming from generations of poverty. I’ve never met anyone who, day by day, hour by hour, cares so deeply for students, works so diligently and intentionally with them, and has such a long-term impact,” says Michael Maruca, the head of school at the independent, faith-based Anna Julia Cooper School, where McNamee teaches.

After graduating from William & Mary in 1981 with a business degree, McNamee worked in the insurance industry for 15 years before answering the call to help students in need as an educator. At Swansboro Elementary School, part of Richmond Public Schools, he led the “Men of Swansboro” program for boys in third through fifth grades to learn life skills and etiquette. With the late David Murphy ’84, P ’18, he launched the Mr. Mac Foundation so the business community, school alumni and supporters could provide funding for applied learning and extracurricular experiences for his students.

At William & Mary, McNamee is one of the co-founders of HEYFARL (Hundred Each Year for a Rising Letterman), which has funded over $2 million for football scholarships to walk-on football athletes. Several of these walk-ons have gone on to careers that raise William & Mary’s profile on the national scene, including Buffalo Bills Coach Sean McDermott ’98. Many former players currently make annual gifts to HEYFARL, and the initiative continues to bring Tribe athletes together across generations. For his leadership of HEYFARL and in recognition of his achievements playing W&M Football as a student, McNamee was inducted into the W&M Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995.