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Four years ago, when we recognized Fred Shamer for 25 years of service, I said that despite talk of becoming a “paperless society,” McDonogh continued to use paper and mail services every bit as much as we have in the past. Little has changed since I last spoke about Fred, except for the fact that he has decided to retire. I am happy to have another chance to thank the man who has patiently managed mountains of mail and processed piles of paperwork.
Fred arrived at McDonogh in April of 1988 and was McDonogh’s last postmaster before the postal service closed its branch here.
A self-described hippie from the flower-power generation, Fred has unassumingly operated the mail room and duplicating room for almost three decades, repairing photocopiers, picking up and delivering mail, helping colleagues navigate complicated machines, and managing reams and reams of paper.
Fred is always willing to lend a hand, whether it’s answering the same copier question for the hundredth time that day, running large copy jobs for faculty during the summer, or binding monogrammed notepads using waste paper to help save trees and give colleagues the means to add a personal touch to notes and memos. Fred has even helped McDonogh appraise the value of donated objects by using the knowledge he has gained from running “Relics of Olde,” the Shamers’ antiques shop in Reisterstown.
The copy room remains a busy place, and I sometimes wonder if maybe, just maybe, folks continue to seek out Fred and stop by his place just to visit with one of the warmest, most humble people on campus. No one will ever duplicate him. Thank you, Fred, for almost 30 years of dealing with paper and taking care of the people who generate it. Congratulations on your retirement!