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Michael Quinlan, Class of 1962, Donates $3 Million to Fenwick

May 9, 2018

Construction of Fenwick's Michael R. Quinlan '62 Parking Center is slated to begin next summer.

Alumnus Michael R. Quinlan '62, and his wife, Marilyn, have pledged a financial gift of $3,000,000 to Fenwick High School. Mr. Quinlan is the former Chairman of the Board (1990-99) and Chief Executive Officer (1987-98) of the McDonald’s Corporation – the second CEO after the fast-food, hamburger chain founder Ray Kroc.


Mike Quinlan is a member of the Fenwick Class of 1962 and the former Chairman/CEO of McDonald's Corp.

“Fenwick High School placed me on a path to success for which I am eternally grateful,” comments Quinlan, 73, who grew up on the West Side of Chicago and was the first member of his family to attend college. “As a Friar, I want to do my part to ensure future generations of Fenwick students have the same access to the high-quality, Dominican education that I had.”

While a senior at Fenwick (left), Quinlan was offered a full-tuition scholarship to Loyola University Chicago, earning his bachelor’s degree in philosophy and psychology from there in ’67 and an MBA in ’70. His roommate’s mother happened to be Kroc’s secretary; so to pay for books and housing in college, Quinlan worked 25 hours per week in the McDonald’s mailroom. The rest, as we know, is history. During his time at McDonald’s helm, Quinlan spearheaded the construction of a Ronald McDonald House for ailing children and their families near Loyola’s Medical Center in Maywood, IL.


Mike Quinlan's '62 Yearbook photo from Fenwick.

“The Quinlans’ gift commitment of $3 million, over three years, represents the largest, single gift in the 89-year history of our school,” explains Father Richard Peddicord, O.P, Fenwick’s President. “It is an unrestricted gift to the Centennial Campaign for Fenwick High School and will be used to jump-start construction of the new parking garage, which will be named for Mike.” Construction of the 300-space garage is expected to commence next summer in 2019, Peddicord adds.

Mary Ellen Penicook, Chair of Fenwick’s Board of Directors, notes: “Because Oak Park is a land-locked community with limited parking, Mr. Quinlan will be a hero of the Fenwick community for generations to come.” Mrs. Penicook also points out that the new parking deck “will improve safety, convenience and reduce street congestion for our neighbors.”

Quinlan was inducted into Fenwick’s Hall of Fame in 1996 and also is a Life Trustee. In 1999 he became Chairman of Loyola University’s Board of Trustees. Six years ago, the university renamed its business school after Quinlan in recognition of his generosity to his collegiate alma mater. He is the single-largest giver in the history of the university.


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