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Class of 1955


Sherry Hood Penney, Ph.D.

College Professor

Chancellor, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Award Winner for Citizenship and Service

Sherry Hood Penney graduated from Royal Oak High School in 1955.

Sherry Hood Penney earned her bachelor's degree at Albion College and her Ph.D. from State University of New York at Albany. She also has honorary doctoral degrees from Albion College and Quincy College.

Sherry Hood Penney is a professor of leadership in the College of Management at the University of Massachusetts in Boston holding a chair named in her honor. She served as Chancellor at UM from 1988-2000 and was the first female to be appointed Vice Chancellor for Academic Programs at SUNY. Prior to that appointment she served as instructor and associate provost at Yale University.

Dr. Penney has published several articles and books describing people and events associated with United States History and politics. She has chaired the board of directors of the Educational Resource Institute and served on advisory boards for the South Shore Hospital and the Road to Seneca Falls project in women's history

Sherry Hood Penney has been awarded the Pinnacle Award for lifetime achievement from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, the New England Women's Leadership Award, the Distinguished Citizen Award for Racial Harmony and the Abigail Adams Award from the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus.

Dr. Penney was inducted into the Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame, 1996.

Class of 1955


Fred M. Mester

Class President of Royal Oak High School, Class of 1955;

Centennial Award and Honorary Doctorate from Central Michigan University

Assistant United States Attorney, 1969-1973

Circuit Judge, Sixth Judicial Circuit of Michigan

Past president of Federal Bar Association, Detroit Chapter, 1979 -1980

Inducted into Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame, 1996

Fred Mester grew up in Royal Oak, and claims that one of his most memorable life lessons came when he was eleven years old. As captain of his baseball team he gave up the desired position of pitcher to another player who was better than him. The team went on to win a championship and Mester later was quoted as saying, "Sometimes a leader has to step aside and make sure someone else gets the attention. That is how you achieve excellence."

Fred Mester was a leader. He was class president at both Royal Oak High School in 1955 and Central Michigan University in 1959. He served as a Captain in the U. S. Army and was chosen President of the Federal Bar Association in 1979. Central Michigan University recognized his leadership and service when it granted him an honorary doctorate and the Centennial Award as one of the top 100 graduates over the past 100 years.

His career in law began as an attorney for the Chrysler Corporation. He later served as an Assistant United States Attorney, Chief of the Civil Division of the U. S. Attorney's office, and Court Administrator for the Sixth Judicial Court in Michigan where he led an effort to make the court one of the first computerized courts in the country. Fred Mester was appointed to the position of Circuit Judge in 1967 and served until his retirement in 2008.

Fred served as an elder in his church, member of board of directors of South Oakland YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club of Royal Oak. Fred Mester was inducted into the Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame in 1996.

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