Tulane Alumni Association




Distinguished Alumnus/a Award 2008


Denis Henry McDonald

When Denis McDonald was diagnosed with multiple myeloma over 12 years ago, he looked for the best possible treatment center he could find. His search led him to the Arkansas Cancer Research Center in Little Rock. Having to receive treatment so far away from home was the catalyst for his later involvement in the American Cancer Society's Hope Lodge project in New Orleans. Denis was co-chair of the $7.5 million capital campaign for Hope Lodge, which free housing to non-resident cancer patients. This Katrina-delayed project ultimately opened in mid 2006 as the Patrick J. Taylor Hope Lodge. In addition to helping create the lodge, Denis is a source of encouragement, inspiration and advice for others facing the rigors of cancer treatment.

Denis attended Tulane University on a Naval R.O.T.C. scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the College of Arts and Science in 1966. Upon graduation, he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps and soon served as a platoon leader during the Vietnam conflict. While there, he was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals. Following four years of service, he left the Marine Corps as a Captain.

After 10 years with Merrill Lynch in New Orleans, Denis founded and was president of Mac Dee Textiles. His textile manufacturing company supplied table linens and various textile products to the hospitality and airline industries nationwide.

Over the past 30 years Denis has served on the boards of numerous civic organizations. These have included such diverse groups as the Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR), the Louisiana Nature Center, Bright School for the Deaf, the Metropolian Area Committee (MAC) and the City Park Improvement Association. Currently he serves as the Chairman of the Selley Foundation and as a Trustee for the Libby Dufour Fund. Denis is also on the boards of Children's Hospital, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) and Ursuline Academy. He is a member of St. Alphonsus Parish Capital Restoration and Finance Committees. In 2001 he was honored to be chosen as Rex, King of Carnival.





Alumni Relations, Tulane University, 6319 Willow Street, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5901