Steve McNamara was a member of the graduating class of 1951. During his time at Uni, he was highly involved in school extracurricular activities. McNamara participated in the football, wrestling, and track teams, along with serving as Class President subfreshmen year and Class Treasurer senior year. Additionally, he was a member of the Chairman of Record Committee and U and I Staff during his senior year.
After his time at Uni, McNamara went on to earn his undergraduate degree from Princeton University where he majored in history. While he originally planned to go into a Foreign Services career, he decided to pursue newspaper business instead. In 1955, McNamara started as a reporter for the Twin City Sentinel before purchasing the Pacific Sun in 1966. He later sold the Pacific Sun in 2004 and helped revive the inmate-produced San Quentin News in 2008 as well as founding the non-profit Prison Media Project.