Alumni of the Year is presented yearly to alumni who recently have made a significant contribution through service in their community, profession, family or church. Recipients are selected from nominations made by LM alumni, Alumni Association, faculty, board of directors and other friends of LM.

We are excited to present and honor our Alumni of the Year during our World Changers Gala on March 31, 2023

DAN MAST ‘77 recalls how, as a child, he would play with a doctor’s bag and instruments, “practicing on unwitting family pets and usually willing family members. I had been enamored with captivating stories of family members who had served medically in underserved international settings. So proclaiming to folks I wanted to be a ‘missionary doctor’ seemed natural.”Dan Mast

As a teen attending LMH, he became interested in biology. “Mr. Charlie Longenecker’s class fascinated me as I discovered the diversity of life growing around me, as did his energetic engagement with students.” In addition, he enjoyed interactive classes, like drama with Rosie Brenneman or Myrna Smucker, and speech class with Barb Smucker. Although he confesses he was more interested in social activities, developing friendships and having fun, he greatly appreciated the teachers and their modeling of humor, grace,and compassion. He recalls, “Teachers walked alongside me through confusing teen years with a caring nurture and seemed to see the good in me despite glaring omissions. I will always remain grateful.”

Shortly after graduating from high school he shares, “I felt jolts of personal pain, experiencing a coworker/friend paralyzed and then another friend die in a crash, both LMH friends.”

“I had previously been focusing on myself and my interests when this rocked my world. I began Hesston College with a renewed faith-based calling and passion to serve others through medicine.”

The Mast Family

His medical career has been diverse, including practicing on an American Indian reservation in Arizona, group practice, Hospice, wound management, private solo practice, and now working with often underserved individuals in a federally qualified health center, Union Community Care, in Lancaster, PA. He shares, “I came to understand that compassionate care is never all about the physical complaint, but soul work is always a part of the mix. The intertwining of body, mind, and spirit. Social and environmental determinants of health also continue to need systemic effort, and through involvement with Landis Communities, Union Community Care, Parish Resource Center, and my faith community, I hope to improve equity and wholeness in our community.”

Dan’s medical efforts and commitment to compassionate care for all were not made alone. Cindy Swartley Mast was his loyal and caring spouse and partner at home and in their practice settings. He remembers her as “unwavering in her kindness and respect for the marginalized and maligned, she was a model for passionate compassion. As an Eastern Mennonite College and University of Pennsylvania nursing grad, she embodied a rare combination of tenacious inquisitiveness and wise graciousness. Recognizing the positive impact LM had on the rest of our family’s faith formation, she served LM as a board member for 17 years before her passing in 2021.”

Dan and Cindy MastTogether, Dan and Cindy shared a passion to facilitate healing through medical disciplines. He shares, “I regularly interact with LMH alumni of all ages as patients, classmates, and parents of current students. With many others, we share a faith mission to care for others as we would like to be cared for, and encourage one another in this common pursuit. It is truly a sacred space to intervene in circumstances where loss of limb or life seem possible, and then return wholeness within a person, and for their loved ones. I have found medical practice to be the humbling sacred space of seeing the worn face of Jesus evident in the addict or immigrant’s face. But for the grace of God.”