Last week marked the end of an era with the passing of long-time UMD photographer Alfred “Al” Danegger. Entering UMD as a student in the fall of 1942, he put his educational and professional aspirations on hold after just one semester to enter the war. After returning from extended service as a combat photographer, Al received his bachelor’s degree from Maryland in 1950, and stayed on for almost 50 years as university photographer. Al’s service to UMD as a student photographer won him several campus prizes, including the Diamondback, Terrapin, and Old Line Awards for his dedicated work on those student publications. As a university photographer, Al was a giant in his field, twice elected president of the University Photographers Association.
The university’s historical documentation has greatly benefited from the innumerable photographs Al took; certainly the University Archives’ holdings would be much poorer without his massive contribution. Al was also a mentor and source of inspiration for countless professionals, including many right here at the university. Below are a few examples of Al’s wonderful work, as well as some photos of the man himself, so often tucked away behind the lens.