D. Michael Weller ’66
As a Milton Hershey School student, alumnus, and staff member, D. Michael “Mike” Weller ’66 touched many lives throughout his life and in service to the school. Enrolling at MHS in 1962 as a freshman, Weller took every opportunity in front of him. While a student at MHS, he was active in sports, the explorer scouts, National Honor Society, and was a leader in student government. Also, while in high school, Weller received the NOMA award and was honored as a Scholar of the Month in 1964 and 1965 respectively.
Upon his graduation from the school, Weller earned a bachelor’s degree in English from West Virginia University and returned to MHS to teach English and coach basketball. In 1980, his team won the school’s first District III basketball championship, and the following year, won the first state basketball championship in school history.
During his career at MHS, he served in various administrative positions and went on to become director of special projects, director of transitional services, and head of senior division. Weller was inducted into the MHS Spartan Hall of Fame in the athletics category in 2005 and awarded the MHS Chairman’s Award for Excellence Medallion in 2014. He retired from MHS in 2014. Beyond his professional career, Weller served on the boards of the MHS Alumni Association (MHSAA), the Maryland Association of Resources for Families and Youth, the Heritage Foundation, and the William E. Dearden Foundation.
He went on to earn a master’s degree in counseling and human relations from Shippensburg University. His attitude towards being a lifelong learner helped him grow in his career at MHS and propelled him to serve as the executive director of the Maryland Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch in Frederick, MD, beginning in 1993. Several years later, Weller accepted a new position as the executive director of the MHSAA. This position allowed him to serve his alma mater in a new way—by helping alumni like himself grow their character and leadership skills post-graduation.
It is fitting that the motto of the MHS Class of 1966 was: “We adore those heroes who carve out their careers with their own hands and their own wits, who start at the bottom and work to the top.” Weller lived this motto out from Day 1 as a student and staff member until he passed away in 2021.
In honor of Weller’s strong character and service to MHS, the school community named the D. Michael Weller Trades Center in his honor. The building will serve as a hub for hands-on learning where students interested in welding, construction, and other fields can explore their interests.
It is the hope of everyone who was honored enough to know Weller that every student who learns in the D. Michael Weller Trades Center is reminded of his selfless and motivating character.