On May 30, Oxford Area High School will hold its eighth Distinguished Alumni induction ceremony. The Class of 2014 includes David M. White, Class of 1960; Jim McLeod, Class of 1969; and Martin Sumner, Class of 1992.
After graduating from Lincoln University in 1964, White moved to Baltimore to teach physical education at Franklin Square Middle School. During his ten-year stay at Franklin Square, it was named a Model School for the education of inner city youth, with Franklin Square teachers demonstrating their instructional methods for other teaching professionals in the city.
While teaching at Franklin, White was instrumental in starting a dance group for his students, serving as director.
White then went to Carver High School in Baltimore, where he coached the varsity and junior varsity football teams in addition to teaching physical education. He was then hired as head football coach at Lake Clifton High School, leading the team to a state championship in 1990 and earning Maryland Coach of the Year honors.
In 1996, White moved to Frederick Douglass High School as football coach, athletic director and physical education teacher. He was instrumental in starting the first tennis and boys' lacrosse programs at that inner-city school.
White returned to Carver Middle School where he spent six years before his retirement in 2008 with 44 years of service in the Baltimore City School District. Throughout his career he has mentored student teachers at Morgan State University and Towson University.
Born and raised in Oxford, Sumner played soccer, basketball and tennis, earning twelve varsity letters and numerous team, league and area awards, and was inducted to the high school's Sports Wall of Fame in 2009. He also played trumpet with the concert and marching bands. During the summer when he was in high school, Sumner worked in construction for his father’s home-building and remodeling company.
Sumner was named valedictorian of the Class of 1992 and entered the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied finance and strategic management. The summer after his sophomore year he worked as a marketing intern at Herr Foods and after his junior year at The Berwind Group, a regional investment bank in Philadelphia. During his junior and senior years, Sumner spent significant time assisting his family in winding down his father’s business, as he was diagnosed and subsequently passed away from cancer.
After graduating Magna Cum Laude from Penn in 1996, Sumner moved to Washington, D.C. to join Mercer Management Consulting where he advised senior management of companies on strategic issues, participating in 15 projects across multiple industries during his three-year tenure. From Mercer, he spent two years at Thayer Capital Partners, a middle market private equity firm where he was responsible for evaluating and executing investments in high growth companies.
Sumner then applied and was accepted to the Stanford University Graduate School of Business where he earned his Masters of Business Administration. In addition to his studies at Stanford, he was the president of the soccer club and worked closely with Jack MacDonald, a long-time Stanford finance professor. During the spring of his second year, Sumner secured a full-time position with The Carlyle Group, a leading private equity firm based in Washington D.C.
Since joining The Carlyle Group in 2003, Mr. Sumner has been promoted three times and now is a Managing Director where he focuses on investment opportunities in the industrial and transportation sectors. He has been a key contributor to several of the firm’s investments totaling over $2.25 billion of equity invested including Axalta Coating Systems (formerly DuPont Performance Coatings), Allison Transmission and AxleTech International.
Sumner has also been involved in the sales of several Carlyle portfolio companies with an aggregate value of over $5 billion. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Axalta Coating Systems where he chairs the audit and compensation committees as well as Veyance Technologies where he chairs the audit committee.
Sumner is married to Meredith McMichael Sumner, a 1991 graduate of Oxford High School. They have three children, Grace, 10, Charlotte, 7, and Wes, 3. He enjoys coaching both Grace and Charlotte’s soccer teams, and served for two years on the Local Strategic Advisory Team for Key Elementary School in Washington D.C.
Oxford's Distinguished Alumni Program was established in 2006 to ensure that the lives and achievements of Oxford's most accomplished graduates will be forever known among fellow graduates, current and future high school students, and the Oxford community. A luncheon in honor of each year's inductees is held each spring and is followed by a ceremony attended by the high school student body. Portraits of all the honorees are displayed in the high school's rotunda.