The McDonough Center’s 20th anniversary celebration drew from several key events in its early history. The Charter, which established the Center, was adopted by the Board of Trustees on February 21, 1986. Therefore, this has served as the Center’s “founding” date. In the fall of 1987, the first cohort of McDonough Scholars – 21 of them – began their participation in the McDonough Leadership Program, through a week-long orientation. In 1988, the new McDonough building was dedicated – giving the McDonough Scholars a home.

As part of the 20th anniversary festivities, the McDonough Center hosted a dinner at the Lafayette Hotel ballroom in Marietta on October 19, 2007. This special evening during Homecoming Weekend gave us an opportunity to welcome back alumni and special guests who had been involved in the early days of the Center.

The dinner program began with opening remarks by the Anniversary Planning Committee Chair, Andrea Reusser ’95; McDonough Dean Gama Perruci; Marietta College President Jean Scott; and Dr. Robert Stephens, president of the McDonough Foundation. Retired professor Steven Blume provided a faculty perspective on the anniversary, while Jamie Brady ’92 offered the alumni view. The evening event also included the portrait unveiling of Dr. Stephen W. Schwartz (1940-2006) and special words by Mark Bradley, president and CEO of Peoples Bank, honoring Robert E. Evans (1940-2005). The program ended with a Washington County Proclamation presented by Commissioner Sam Cook.

Imagining the New Possibilities

As we celebrate McDonough’s 20th anniversary, we naturally look back and reflect on decades of accomplishments. However, a thriving organization also has to look forward and imagine the possibilities ahead. As one of the first centers in the country to offer a comprehensive undergraduate leadership development program under a liberal-arts curriculum, McDonough has always distinguished itself as a source of creativity and innovation. We intend to uphold this tradition, as we focus on three key areas:

  • Civic Engagement: While retaining our connections with local non-profit organizations, we will seek to extend civic engagement beyond the region to reach a world hungry for problem-solvers from all walks of life. McDonough will become world renowned as an incubator of passionate change agents who will make a difference in their communities worldwide.
  • International Leadership: As the marketplace shrinks and cultures clash, we need, more than ever, leaders who can overcome differences and inspire others to rise above prejudice and parochialism. McDonough will expand opportunities for students of all ages to become global leaders.
  • Business Leadership: While civic engagement has been (and will always be) central to McDonough’s identity since its founding, the business world is also part of its namesake. The McDonough Center can play a critical role in the area of business leadership by developing business leaders who are thoughtful, ethical and active participants in the economic development of communities worldwide.


What a difference two decades make! The proposed vision around these three areas (civic engagement, international leadership, and business leadership) will move McDonough into a century that demands engaged leaders who are willing to take risks and become part of solutions to global challenges. We hope you will join us in making this vision a reality in the coming decades.