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Four Receive FSU Service to Alma Mater Awards

Four Receive FSU Service to Alma Mater Awards
From left are Becky Brown McCusker, Mary Clapsaddle, Col. Ron Forrester and the Rev. James Mason.

The Frostburg State University Alumni Association honored four alumni with the Service to Alma Mater Award during the Board of Directors fall meeting as part of FSU’s 2015 Homecoming celebration. Rebecca A. Brown-McCusker, Mary E. Clapsaddle, retired Air Force Col. Ronald G. Forrester and the Rev. James L. Mason received the prestigious awards.

Brown-McCusker, of Mount Savage, Md., who earned her bachelor’s from FSU in 1985 and her master’s in 1987, has been an active alumna since 1989, first as Allegany Chapter chair of the Alumni Association, then as president. After that, she served two terms on the FSU Foundation Board. Presently, she is on the Advisory Council of WFWM Radio.

Talking about FSU as much as she can with fellow alumni and potential students is her way of promoting FSU. “It is important to me to support FSU because I had great experiences as a student and FSU helped me achieve those,” Brown-McCusker said. “I had work-study grants which enabled me to attend FSU as well as gain usable experience.” Becky and her husband Paul are dedicated supporters of WFWM Radio and are members of the Old Main Society.

Brown-McCusker is active in other organizations as well. She received the Certified Aging Services Professional, Fellow, designation from LeadingAge; was Worthy Matron of Mountain Chapter No. 15, Order of the Eastern Star; and graduated from the Allegany Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Allegany. Currently, she is president of Farrady Unit No. 24 of the American Legion Auxiliary.

Brown-McCusker is the director of Frostburg Heights, a senior housing community.

After joining the FSU Foundation Board in 2007, Clapsaddle began advocating for FSU with key members of the Maryland General Assembly. She also served as chair of the board’s Budget Committee, revamping the process for awarding Opportunity Grants, and served as vice president and on the Executive Committee, now serving as president.

Clapsaddle, of Arnold, Md., who earned her bachelor’s from FSU in 1983, is constantly reaching out to former classmates and other alumni in the Annapolis area. She has participated in alumni events on campus and in Frederick, Baltimore and Annapolis.

She feels financial commitment is a tangible way to demonstrate support. “Funds for scholarship, buildings, activities and services will help ensure that future generations can enjoy the benefits of a Frostburg education like I did,” Clapsaddle said. Mary and her husband Chad are dedicated supporters of the Annual Fund and Presidential Merit Scholarships and members of the Old Main Society.

Clapsaddle received FSU’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award in 2015 and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Alumni Circle of Excellence Award in 2008. She is a Who’s FSU Award winner and past president of Eastern States Legislative Fiscal Officers Association. She is a senior capital planning analyst for the Baltimore City Department of Planning.

Forrester, of Middletown, Md., who earned his bachelor’s from FSU in 1967, has served more than 10 years on the FSU Alumni Association Board of Directors, first as co-chairman and chairman of the Student Outreach Committee and then as president of the board. During that time, he worked to identify and recruit well-qualified alumni to be on the board, streamlined the bylaws and developed standard operating procedures as well as selection criteria for the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, Service to Alma Mater Award and Honorary Alumnus/Alumna Award. He has also served on the FSU Foundation Board of Directors Annual Spending and Development Committees and several University search committees.

To promote his alma mater, Forrester meets monthly with his Alpha Delta Chi fraternity brothers and encourages their participation in upcoming FSU events and financial contributions. The events he attends at FSU and in the Frederick area give him the perfect opportunity to encourage other alumni to give back and become involved in supporting programs and activities at FSU.

“I was inspired, nurtured and encouraged to be successful,” Forrester said. “I want students attending FSU today and in the years ahead to have the same opportunities I enjoyed.” He has helped to establish three scholarship funds at FSU – the G. Wesley and Margaret M. Forrester Education Scholarship, the Alpha Delta Chi Memorial Education Scholarship and Alpha Delta Chi Fraternity’s Golden Anniversary Presidential Merit Scholarship Fund. He is also a generous supporter of the Annual Fund and a member of the Old Main Society.

Forrester is a past winner of the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award and the Alumni Circle of Excellence Award. His major military awards include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, U.S. Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, USAF Commendation Medal and USAF Achievement Medal.

Mason, of Hancock, Md., who earned his bachelor’s from FSU in 1975 and his master’s in 1987, has been involved with the University in some capacity for more than 40 years, beginning as a freshman in 1971. He is the only member of the Alumni Board of Directors and Executive Committee to have held all the available offices, from director to president. He has also been active in the Strategic Planning Committee.

In 2013, Mason joined the Board of Trustees of St. Maria Goretti High School in Hagerstown, where he promotes FSU at college nights and encourages students to visit FSU. He also attended a number of campus visitation sessions with prospective students. Because of his business connections, he often encounters FSU alumni and encourages them to support their alma mater.

“FSU is behind all the successes I have experienced throughout my life,” Mason said. “I not only feel an obligation but I want to give back to the institution that helped launch me.” He has established the James Lester Mason ’75 College of Business Scholarship to support future FSU students and made it the beneficiary of one of his life insurance policies to ensure its funding. He also supports the Annual Fund and other special campaigns and is a member of the Old Main Society.

Mason has also been involved in two internships in Hagerstown – one at Western Maryland Hospital Center and the other at St. Ann Catholic Church. Today he serves as a financial manager with Keystone Fruit Marketing, Inc., and an ordained deacon of the Roman Catholic Church.

Criteria for the award include demonstrated interest in assisting, advancing and promoting FSU; consistent involvement with FSU; successfully encouraging other FSU alumni to take an active role in their alma mater; philanthropic commitment to FSU; and special achievements, awards, honors and distinctions.

For more information about the FSU Alumni Association or the Service to Alma Mater Award, call 301-687-4068 or email


For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
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Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
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