MMI Preparatory School honored the new members of its Wall of Fame during the ninth annual Wall of Fame dinner and ceremony held on September 20.
Established in 2006, the MMI Wall of Fame honors alumni in addition to current and past faculty, staff and board members who have distinguished themselves in the areas of athletics, business, sciences, education, government, public service, the arts or humanities. Wall of Fame inductees are selected in the following categories: Athletic Achievement, Community Service, Service to MMI and Professional Achievement.
Members of the Wall of Fame Class of 2014 are Shawn P. Gallagher ’84, inducted in the category of Athletic Achievement; the late Dr. David S. Wagner, inducted in the category of Service to MMI; Dr. George Feussner ’62, inducted in the category of Professional Achievement; Dr. William Koenig ’78, inducted in the category of Professional Achievement; and Dr. Robert J. Lutz ’63, inducted in the category of Professional Achievement. Robert Della Croce ’82, inducted in the category of Athletic Achievement, and Dr. James Feussner ’65, inducted in the category of Professional Achievement, are members of the Class of 2013 and were inducted with this year’s class.
Shawn P. Gallagher ’84 was a star of MMI’s basketball team during his four-year basketball career at the school from 1980-84, which included serving as team captain. He scored 1,109 career points, ranking 10th all-time, with his 1,000th point coming during a home game against Shamokin Lourdes, and grabbed 658 rebounds. As a senior, he averaged 25.7 points, 14 rebounds, and five blocks per game, scoring 45 percent of MMI’s total points during his senior year. He was named the Most Valuable Player that year. His career highs were 44 points and 28 rebounds.
Gallagher continued his basketball career at the University of Scranton and was a member of the 1988 team that advanced to the NCAA Division III Final Four and finished second in the country. He was the starting center in five NCAA tournament games. He finished his college career third in blocks, fourth in rebounding, and 13th in scoring in the University of Scranton’s record books.
Today, Gallagher is a national account manager for Ironplanet, an online marketplace for used heavy equipment.
Dr. David S. Wagner, a prominent Hazleton-area dentist, was part of the MMI Board of Directors from 1972 to 1983, serving as board chairman from 1978 to 1980. He was also a charter member of MMI’s Honorary Board of Directors, formed in 1996. Dr. Wagner passed away in February 2013. He was an ardent supporter of MMI and the school, which made many achievements under his leadership. It was during his time on the board that MMI began offering seventh and eighth grades in 1977. He held the respect of other board members who had many different points of view during a difficult time for the school, which later emerged from that time period in a stronger position.
Wagner’s career in dentistry spanned more than 50 years. He served as president and secretary of the Pennsylvania Dental Society and chairman of the Commission on Dental Accreditation for the American Dental Association. He was a fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, the International College of Dentists, and the American College of Dentists.
Dr. George Feussner ’62 is an accomplished neurosurgeon who continues to practice in northern Florida. During his long medical career, he has distinguished himself as a major figure in the field of neurology, pioneering and becoming board certified in new technologies for diagnosis and treatment. He has treated more than 200,000 patients throughout his medical tenure.
He contributed to research supporting the use of intravenous Dilantin in treating epilepsy, which became the standard of care for unrelenting seizers. He was a co-founder of the Southern Clinical Neurological Society, which now includes more than 300 clinical neurologists from all over the country, and has served on the society’s board for several years.
Feussner held the position of chief of neurology at North Florida Regional Hospital and the former Alachua General Hospital. He also served as a medical officer and major in the U.S. Air Force, treating recently released prisoners of war from Hanoi at the end of the Vietnam War.
Dr. William Koenig ’78 is a well-known plastic surgeon practicing in Rochester, New York. He has partnered with the Quatela Center for Plastic Surgery since 2003 and previously worked at the Guthrie Clinic in Sayre, Pennsylvania.
He has traveled extensively to Central and South America and the Philippines with Operation Hope. As part of the program, he volunteers his services every year to perform surgery on children with cleft lips and cleft palates. During a few of his annual trips, he was the chief surgeon working with the children.
Koenig has given presentations nationally and internationally and contributed to numerous publications and scientific exhibits. He is board certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He was honored with the prestigious 2012 Compassionate Doctor Certification, part of a patients’ choice recognition program in which patients rate and vote for their favorite doctors. Of the nation’s 870,000 active physicians, only 3 percent received this honor in 2012.
Dr. Robert J. Lutz ’63 retired as a biomedical engineer in the Laboratory of Bioengineering and Physical Science at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, where he was chief of the Drug Delivery and Kinetic Section. He spent the entirety of his 38-year career in that profession, providing important contributions that led to the development of bioengineering programs at NIH.
Lutz authored more than 60 scientific publications in addition to several book chapters. He mentored more than 150 bioengineering students and served as the director of the Biomedical Engineering Summer Internship Program at NIH, which selects 16 of the top junior bioengineering students from across the country to participate in cutting-edge research at NIH labs, with Lutz as their mentor. He was chosen as a fellow in the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and as a fellow in the Washington Academy of Sciences, where he received the Award for Outstanding Achievements in Engineering Sciences. Since 1979, he has served as a visiting professor in the Chemical Engineering Department of Howard University in Washington, D.C.
Robert Della Croce ’82 was a standout player during his basketball career at MMI and still remains third on MMI’s all-time high-scoring list with a total of 1,631 points. During his senior year, the 1981-82 season, he led the Anthracite League and the region in scoring. He also set a single-game record of 45 points in his senior year in a home game against Weatherly.
He was a member of the basketball team all four years of high school and referred to with pride as the “nation’s leading scorer” in the 1982 Minamek. He was also chosen the Most Valuable Player for the men’s tennis team in his senior season.
Today, Della Croce is a successful investment financial and operations professional with more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry.
Dr. James Feussner ’65 serves as senior clinical consultant at the Deveroux Foundation’s Acute Crisis Hospital for Children and Adolescents in Philadelphia. He is also the medical director and child and adolescent behavioral health specialist at a major national medical insurance company.
He studied Fine Arts at University of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, but then earned an M.D. from Temple University School of Medicine as well as a J.D. from Temple University School of Law.
Feussner became board certified in child psychiatry in 1982 after studying with Anna Freud, the daughter of Sigmund Freud. During his career, he has worked in Philadelphia as one of the first child and adolescent forensic psychiatrists in the United States and the first to hold an MD and JD. He developed children’s mental health programming in Luzerne and surrounding counties, training a team of 300 professionals and treating more than 7,000 children per year. He has trained and supervised fellows in child and adolescent psychiatry from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia / University of Pennsylvania Medical School.
A lifelong patron of the arts in the Philadelphia area, he has sponsored the Wister Quarter’s annual performance at MMI for the past 11 years. He also collects arts and antiquities extensively.