The Legacy of Mack Alston, UMES '71 | University of Maryland Eastern Shore Marketing Retarget Pixel

The Legacy of Mack Alston, UMES '71

  • Family establishes scholarship in Fallen Hawk's honor

    Friday, February 16, 2018
    Mack Alston ~ 1947-2014

    Mack Alston Jr. (class of 1971) was a devoted and committed Hawk who over the years made regular contributions to his alma mater's athletics program, the university's Annual Fund and other campus initiatives.  Alston passed away on Christmas Eve in 2014. He was 67. 

    To honor his memory, Alston's family is taking over his tradition of giving. 

    “It is important for us to continue our dad's legacy,” a joint statement from his daughter, Dr. Andrea Alston-Cope and son, Kevin Alston, says. “He loved UMES and would be happy knowing that UMES students will benefit from this fund.” 

    The Alston family has created an annual scholarship fund for an incoming freshman from Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia or South Carolina. Born in Pawley's Island, S.C., Alston played high school football in Georgetown about halfway between Myrtle Beach and Charleston. 

    “Mack was a gifted football player in high school and many schools tried to recruit him, but he chose UMES,” said Dr. Rose Alston, his wife. 

    He played collegiately alongside fellow South Carolinian Art Shell, the National Football League's first African American head football coach, and became one of UMES' football stars in his four years on the team.  He graduated from UMES with a business administration degree. 

    Alston was drafted by the Washington Redskins in 1970 and played in the 1973 Super Bowl, which was won by the Miami Dolphins.  He went on to play four seasons with the Houston Oilers and finished his 11-year football career as a tight end with the Colts when they played in Baltimore.

    He was a member of the football coaching staff at Howard University and coached at the prep level in Alexandria, Va., including at T.C. Williams High School, the inspiration for the film “Remember the Titans.” 

    In the 1990s, he was one of the founders and served as director of the Art Shell Youth Camp and Clinic, where campers learned about football from NFL players as well as received tutoring in the use of computers and study skills. 

    “We are most grateful to Mack's family for providing support to UMES students,” said Dr. Veronique Diriker, UMES' director of Development. “Each year, the family will make a $2,500 contribution for a deserving freshman.”