In 2016, Andrew J. McKenna Sr., a University of Notre Dame alumnus and emeritus chairman of the University’s Board of Trustees, established the Andrew J. and Joan P. McKenna Center for Human Development and Global Business through a major giftin memory of his fellow trustee and former Board Chair, Donald R. Keough. The close friends shared a commitment to advance human flourishing by leveraging the critical role of global business and markets in building prosperous societies around the world. They agreed that Notre Dame’s new Donald R. Keough School of Global Affairs should become an influential site for realizing this commitment.
In January 2017 the Executive Fellows of the Keough School, including Mr. Keough’s son Patrick, met in London to discuss and delineate the specific goals of the new McKenna Center within the framework of its mission to conduct research, mentor students, and raise awareness of the private sector’s role in reducing poverty and inequality. From those deliberations came guidance that focused the Center’s efforts on: a) understanding the new roles of technology and AI in reshaping the global workforce and economic productivity; b) creating economic prosperity for people currently struggling to find their niche in the market place of goods, services and ideas; and c) tracking global supply chains with an eye toward protection of workers and businesses from exploitative practices
These efforts are meant to realize Don Keough’s vision of global businesses “doing well by doing good” for the poor and the aspiring middle class. The McKenna Center for Human Development and Global Business is today a central part of Notre Dame’s new Donald R. Keough School of Global Affairs.
A member of Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees since 1980, Andrew McKenna served as vice chair from 1986 to 1992 and chair from 1992 to 2000. He holds honorary degrees from Notre Dame and from St. Xavier University, and he was the recipient, in 2000, of Notre Dame’s highest honor, the Laetare Award.
The generous gift establishing the McKenna Center for Human Development and Global Business is only one example of the extraordinary ways in which the McKenna family has served Notre Dame and its mission over many decades.