Thursday, September 12, 2013

More than 1,000 come to view Stanley Cup, rally with John McDonough Sept. 6

John McDonough with the men's and women's hockey teams
McDonough triumphantly lifts the Stanley Cup to the roar of the rally crowd.

More than 1,000 people came to Saint Mary’s Friday, Sept. 6, to get a photo taken with the Stanley Cup, thanks to 1975 alumnus John McDonough, President and CEO of the Chicago Blackhawks, who chose to share the Stanley Cup with his alma mater and with the greater Winona area.

Just prior to the public viewing, McDonough triumphantly lifted the Cup over his head to the cheers of a large crowd in Gostomski Fieldhouse during the rally. SMU hockey legends were also recognized, and the crowd enjoyed presentations by McDonough and Brother William, as well as a Blackhawks highlight video. During the event, a plaque recognizing McDonough’s accomplishments was unveiled. The plaque will permanently hang in the Regan Lobby of the SMU Ice Arena.

“My academic prowess wasn’t great but I learned a lot about commitment; I learned a lot about drive. I learned a lot about relationships,” McDonough told the rally crowd. “I am grateful for what this great university has given to me.”

He told audience members, “Please be brave enough to have big dreams; they just might come true.”

McDonough’s visit also included a meeting with the SMU Athletic Advisory Council and a luncheon with Winona-area business leaders, during which Winona Mayor Mark Peterson presented McDonough with a proclamation declaring Sept. 6, 2013, as “John F. McDonough Day” in Winona.

“We are grateful to John for sharing his time, for sharing the Cup and for sharing his championship spirit and inspiring leadership with our communities,” said Brother William. “We look forward to John’s continued success; we know that he will continue to accomplish amazing things, and we’re proud to call him one of our own.”

To see photos from the day, go to