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Loyola alum, former McDonald’s CEO gives school $40M gift

Loyola University will be changing the name of its business school -- in honor of an alum who is giving the university a $40 million gift.

The gift from alumnus Michael R. Quinlan to Loyola’s business school was announced Saturday night at Loyola’s annual Founders’ Dinner on the university’s Lake Shore campus in Rogers Park.

The $40 million gift is the largest gift ever given to Loyola University Chicago by an alumnus, the second largest gift ever given to the university, and the largest gift ever given to the business school, a release from Loyola said.

The School of Business Administration and its affiliated Graduate School of Business will now be known as Loyola’s Michael R. Quinlan School of Business, named in honor of Quinlan, the chairman of Loyola’s Board of Trustees and former CEO and chairman of the board of McDonald’s Corporation.

Quinlan grew up on Chicago’s West Side. In 1963, while an undergraduate student at Loyola, he was hired to work in the McDonald’s mailroom. The first in his family to attend college, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and psychology in 1967 and went on to earn his master’s in business administration at Loyola in 1970, according to the release. At McDonald’s, Quinlan worked his way up from the mailroom into senior management, becoming president and CEO in 1987 and chairman of the board in 1990. He retired from that post in 1999, at which time he took on his current role of chairman of the Board of Trustees at Loyola.

“This is a momentous occasion for Loyola and for our students,” Loyola President and CEO Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., said. “We are very grateful to Mike Quinlan for his continued generosity and for his enduring commitment to his alma mater. Mike’s leadership and service—in business, in the community, and as chairman of our Board of Trustees—exemplify the best of a Loyola University Chicago education. His support of Loyola’s mission, and this gift for our current and future business students in particular, will have a transformative impact on business education for years to come.”

The university says Quinlan’s gift will help grow the business school’s endowment to attract top faculty, support students, and create cutting-edge programs to meet market demands.

“Much of the success I may have achieved can be traced directly back to my time at Loyola University Chicago,” Quinlan said. “I have received far more from Loyola than I have given. I hope my gift inspires support from other alumni; we have great plans in store for this school.”

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