McKenna makes leadership gift to alma mater to establish Center for Human Development and Global Business

by Dennis Brown

Andrew J. McKenna Sr.

Andrew J. McKenna Sr., a University of Notre Dame alumnus and emeritus chairman of the Board of Trustees, has made a leadership gift to his alma mater for the establishment of the Andrew J. and Joan P. McKenna Center for Human Development and Global Business.

“This wonderful gift is only the latest example of the extraordinary ways in which Andy and Joan have served Notre Dame and its mission,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the University’s president. “We are deeply grateful for their tremendously generous support and, in particular, for the creation of this new center in the school named for their longtime friend, Don Keough. The legacy of the McKenna family will shape Notre Dame for generations to come.”

The McKenna Center for Human Development and Global Business will be a central part of Notre Dame’s new Donald R. Keough School of Global Affairs. The first degree-granting college or school to be established at the University in almost a century, the Keough School will address global challenges through research, policy and practice; transformative education programs; and partnerships. The McKenna Center will join seven other University centers and institutes under the auspices of the Keough School – the Center for Civil and Human Rights, Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development, Kellogg Institute for International Studies, Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies and Nanovic Institute for European Studies.

“One of the original objectives of the Keough School, and one that was especially important to Don Keough as well as to Andy McKenna, was to better understand the criticality of the role of global business in the betterment of humanity,” said Thomas G. Burish, Charles and Jill Fischer Provost of Notre Dame. “Both men played leadership roles in this area in their own right. This extraordinary gift will ensure that the Keough School will be able to support many initiatives that allow faculty and students to study, conduct research on and ultimately participate in the private sector’s role in reducing poverty and inequality. We cannot thank Andy and Joan enough for this foundational gift.”

Scott Appleby, Marilyn Keough Dean of the Keough School, added: “This remarkable gift will enable the Keough School to realize its goal of placing the private sector’s entrepreneurial creativity and resourceful problem-solving in the service of creating economic prosperity for people currently struggling to find their niche in the market place of goods, services and ideas. Realizing this goal is also to realize Don Keough’s vision of global businesses doing well by doing good for the poor and the aspiring middle class.”

Multidisciplinary in scope, the McKenna Center will engage with graduate, professional and undergraduate students to promote corporate policies and practices worldwide that:

  • Stimulate economic growth and develop markets in societies that struggle with poverty, underemployment and inequality.
  • Build and reinforce corporate cultures characterized by integrity, responsible stewardship and environmental sustainability.
  • Foster collaboration – among the private sector, government, universities and nonprofit development and humanitarian organizations – to advance integral human development.

McKenna Center initiatives will include student fellowships, visiting scholars from the corporate world, internships, conferences, research and an award for commitment to human development and global business.

A 1951 Notre Dame graduate who earned a law degree from DePaul University, McKenna is chairman emeritus of McDonald’s Corporation and chairman of Schwarz Supply Source.

McKenna is a director of the Chicago Bears, McDonald’s Corporation and Ryan Specialty Group, and he previously served as chairman of the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs. His many civic, community and philanthropic leadership positions include past chairman of Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, The Commercial Club of Chicago, Chicago Metropolis 2010, The Civic Committee and many others. He currently serves on the previously mentioned boards as well as serving as director of Lurie Children’s Hospital, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, the Big Shoulders Fund, Lyric Opera and many others.

A member of Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees since 1980, McKenna served as vice chair from 1986 to 1992 and chair from 1992 to 2000. He holds honorary degrees from Notre Dame and St. Xavier University and was Notre Dame’s Laetare Medalist in 2000.

The University’s conference center is named McKenna Hall in recognition of the McKennas for making a generous multi-million-dollar gift for student scholarships. They are the parents of seven children, four of whom are Notre Dame graduates, 24 grandchildren (several graduates and many aspiring students) and five great-grandchildren.