Eileen R. and Horace G. McDonell, Jr. will receive the Ruth Stratton Harley Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award at Adelphi University’s 120th Commencement.
Horace G. McDonell, Jr. ’52, ’02 (Hon.) is a strong proponent of the teaching and advancement of science. His affinity for science was fostered at his alma mater where he met his wife, Eileen Romar. Soon after earning his bachelor’s degree in physics from Adelphi, Mr. McDonell joined the Perkin-Elmer Corporation, a leader in the fields of analytical instruments, fine optics, and electro-optical systems. That same year, Mr. McDonell and Eileen Romar, also an Adelphi alumna, were married.
Over a span of 38 years at Perkin-Elmer, Mr. McDonell held engineering, marketing, and management roles within the corporation, eventually ascending the ranks to Chairman and CEO; a position he held until his retirement in 1990.
Mr. McDonell’s impressive career at Perkin-Elmer led to several prestigious positions in the corporate world. Over the years he served as director of Ethan Allen Interiors, Hubbell, Uniroyal, Etec, and Silicon Valley Group corporations. Drawing on his extensive experience, Mr. McDonell also provided leadership in not-for-profit pursuits, serving on the boards of Danbury Hospital, Datahr Rehabilitation Institute, and the American Electronics Association, where he also served as Chairman.
Eileen and Horace McDonell’s commitment to education and the advancement of science is evident in their longstanding involvement with Adelphi. Since their time as students, the McDonells have made invaluable contributions to the University, the scientific community, and corporate and non-profit organizations. Mr. McDonell devoted three years of service as a member of Adelphi’s Board of Trustees. In recognition of his outstanding leadership and community involvement, in 2002 Mr. McDonell received an honorary degree from his alma mater, and in 2009, he was honored for his Lifetime of Service to Adelphi. The University mourned the passing of Mrs. McDonell in 2012.
Through the summer fellowships and scholarships for incoming freshman studying the sciences, and through annual visits to meet with the students, Mr. McDonell has continued in the tradition of Ruth Stratton Harley by providing both financial support and mentorship to deserving students. The Eileen and Horace McDonell Science Advancement Initiative Fund is one of the University’s signature programs for undergraduate academic enrichment.
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