In memoriam: Andrew McKenna, distinguished Notre Dame and Keough School benefactor

Author: Kara Kelly

A participant in the McKenna Center’s ‘South Bend Entrepreneurship and Adversity Boot Camp.’

We remember Andrew J. McKenna Sr., a 1951 Notre Dame graduate who generously supported the McKenna Center and its ‘South Bend Entrepreneurship and Adversity Boot Camp’ for budding entrepreneurs.


As a great and generous friend of the University, Andrew J. McKenna Sr., and his wife, Joan, have supported the University in countless ways for decades, including a leadership gift in 2016 for the establishment of the McKenna Center for Human Development and Global Business in the Keough School of Global Affairs. 



“We owe much to Andy for his vision and generosity,” said Ray Offenheiser, inaugural director of the McKenna Center and the Pulte Institute for Global Development. “He had a vision for a center devoted exclusively to the role of business in addressing big social challenges. It was the kind of bold and empowering vision reflected in so many of his accomplishments over a storied career.”

The McKenna Center is home to South Bend Entrepreneurship and Adversity Program Community Boot Camp under the leadership of its founder, Professor Michael Morris. The initiative gives training, mentoring, technical support, and micro-loans to aspiring entrepreneurs from adverse and disadvantaged circumstances.

“Andy McKenna’s legacy, as far as identifying innovative ways to leverage business approaches and resources to address poverty, has been tremendous,” Morris said. “It’s impossible to overestimate the effect his support has had. Our participants have gone on to become true leaders in their communities and are making positive impacts on the lives of others."