Skip to content
McDonough Makes Gift to UM School of Business Administration
Andrew, from left, Elena and Robert McDonough of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, enjoy an evening on the Oxford Square. Robert McDonough has made a $300,000 unrestricted gift to the Ole Miss School of Business Administration. Son Andrew is a business student, and daughter Elena will enroll as a business major this fall. McDonough feels his children will build foundations for a successful future at Ole Miss.

Robert McDonough of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, believes his son Andrew is being well prepared by the University of Mississippi School of Business Administration and looks forward to his daughter Elena beginning a business degree this fall — inspiring him to make a $300,000 unrestricted gift to the school.

Holman Hall is home to the UM School of Business Administration.

“One of the things that led me to want to participate in Now & Ever: The Campaign for Ole Miss is hearing Dean Ken Cyree talk about building leaders,” said the parent and business leader. “I’ve spent a large portion of my career in corporate America, including time at several large public companies. One thing that great companies have in common is great leaders. The idea that the objective of the Ole Miss Business School is to build leaders resonated with me.”

McDonough said he was further impressed that the school promotes business integrity, stresses the importance of ethics and offers students a breadth of career paths.

“Early in students’ academic careers, they can sample different disciplines to find out what fits the best,” he said.

Annual income from the McDonough Family Endowment will be used to address the greatest needs of the School of Business Administration. The gift is counted in the Now & Ever campaign to secure $1.5 billion for the university’s future — the largest fundraising goal in the history of the university and among Mississippi’s institutions of higher learning.

“We are extremely grateful for Bob McDonough’s transformative support which will give us greater flexibility in responding to opportunities and advance our mission to produce exceptionally prepared business leaders who will become strong innovators, contributors and ambassadors,” said Ken Cyree, dean of the School of Business Administration and Frank R. Day/Mississippi Bankers Association Chair of Banking.

McDonough accompanied his son Andrew on a college visit to Ole Miss 10 years after he brought one of his older sons for a tour.

“I was astounded by the amount of investment the university has made; the class sizes had grown, and the national reputation had increased,” the donor said. “My son and I fell in love with the feel of the school and the town of Oxford.”

With easily accessible professors and academic advisers, “Andrew has experienced academic success, achieving the Chancellor’s or Dean’s list honor rolls every semester,” he continued. “The attributes I see Andrew developing and the growth in him as a young man and an academic made me want to be able to offer my support to the school — to be part of that journey with him. I can see something is being built at Ole Miss that feels very, very special. To be a small part of that is rewarding.”

Drawn to the Southern lifestyle and values, Elena McDonough wanted to attend an SEC school, her dad said. She will room with a fellow freshman from Sacramento, California.

“Going away from home for the first time, Elena wanted to be somewhere that felt like a good cultural fit and where she would feel safe and welcome. Ole Miss is where I see my kids fitting into what feels like a really positive atmosphere. I have no doubt they will build foundations for a successful future,” Bob McDonough said.

In addition to Andrew and Elena, the family includes four other children: Thomas, 29, Patrick, 27, Sofia, 12, and Isabel, 10.

McDonough is the retired president of Carrier, then a division of United Technologies Corp. (UTC). He was with Carrier for 13 years in a series of progressively more responsible positions.

Before joining UTC, McDonough spent 16 years with Lennox International, where he was president and COO of Worldwide Heating & Cooling as well as executive vice president of Lennox International.

To make a gift to the McDonough Family Endowment for the School of Business Administration, send a check to the University of Mississippi Foundation, with the fund’s name noted on the memo line, at 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655, or online here.

For more information on supporting the Business School, contact Brett Barefoot, executive director of central development, at or 662-915-2711.

By Tina H. Hahn/UM Development


Online gifts for the 2024 calendar year should be made no later than noon on December 31, 2024.  Checks by mail will need to be postmarked by December 31 to be counted in the 2024 calendar year.