Robert Emmett McDonough (SFS ’49), whose gift of $30 million led Georgetown to name its business school after him, died after a brief illness in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., last Wednesday, surrounded by family. He was 85.

McDonough was a visionary business leader and philanthropist whose contributions to Georgetown transformed the university’s approach to business education, according to cDonough School of Business Dean George Daly.

In 1998, McDonough gave the largest single gift in Georgetown’s history as part of the Third Century Campaign, which was launched to build endowment funds for curriculum and faculty support, increase financial aid offerings and renovate campus facilities. The campaign was completed in 2003 under Georgetown President John J. DeGioia, after raising over one billion dollars.

Daly said that McDonough was an outstanding person who had remained a key and active member of the Georgetown community. “[He was] always in the spirit of optimism and good will that colored his personality and world view,” he said.

Daly described McDonough as a role model for many others who came after him.

“He was a man of great warmth and humanity,” he said. “He lived the American dream and made it possible for many others to do so.”

According to the MSB Web site , McDonough was always in touch with the community, McDonough, along with his wife Simone, threw a welcoming party in their home in California. He was also a member of the MSB’s Board of Advisors and the university’s Board of Directors, rarely missing meetings and demonstrating unceasing commitment to his alma mater. His support of education extended outside the gates of Georgetown, as he was a strong supporter of the San Juan Capistrano Mission School and the America Ireland Fund.

McDonough served in the Merchant Marine during World War II and put himself through college and supported his family by working the midnight shift as a Capitol Police officer. After working as an executive in the oil industry, he founded Remedy Intelligent Staffing in 1965, a temporary staffing service centered in Riverside, Calif., that he expanded to 260 offices throughout the country, according to the Web site.

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