January 13, 2022
Dear AUC Community,
It is with sadness that I share the news of the death of former AUC President Donald McDonald, who served as AUC's President from 1990 to 1997.
Dr. McDonald led AUC through a period of expansion and increased recognition in the 90s. During his tenure at AUC, the University opened the Zamalek building, inaugurated the Rare Books Library, established the Senate and celebrated its 75th anniversary. It was also during the last year of his tenure that AUC purchased land in New Cairo, taking a critical step towards what we experience everyday as our campus.
Dr. McDonald attended Auburn University (then, Alabama Polytechnic), studying civil engineering. He served in the Air Force Engineer Aviation Battalion during the Korean War. He completed a Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Illinois in 1959. Dr. McDonald spent the first part of his career moving between industry and academia, working for Lockheed and teaching at the North Carolina State University before settling on education as his life's work.
Dr. McDonald moved to Texas in 1973, where he spent 17 years at Texas A&M University as professor of civil engineering, department chair, and finally as provost and vice president for academic affairs. He established the Texas A&M University's campus in Japan, before moving to Cairo. After seven years as AUC President, Dr. McDonald retired. He was awarded the Order of Merit First Class in Sciences and Art by Egypt's president for his service at AUC.
In his retirement, Dr. McDonald devoted much of his time to his beloved Church, volunteering in an outreach program serving Houston's unhoused population and at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. McDonald is survived by his son Bruce, daughter-in-law Catherine, and their son Peyton; his daughter Katheryn, her husband Howard, and their children Joshua and Anna-Sung; and his daughter Ferrell and her son Matthew.
I extend my deepest condolences to Dr. McDonald's family and friends. His life and contributions will remain an enduring part of AUC's legacy and future.