The McDonogh experience creates bonds throughout our community that transcend generations. Scroll through the memories below to read reflections from our alumni, faculty, staff, retired employees, parents, and friends. And don’t forget to submit your own memory!
One of my favorite McDonogh memories was the Upper School Dance Concert. Being able to choreograph my own pieces along with my peers and learning what it takes to put together a production was an incredible experience, and I will never forget the lessons that Ms. Kessel taught me.
Showing the Headmaster how the “girls” athletics locker room had urinals and no doors where the toilets were located. I said, “not cool.” This was in 1976, the first year that girls arrived on campus. The situation was rectified right away!
My first “restriction” to campus—to work off demerits—involved hard labor. On a crisp, autumn Saturday in 1968, our first chore involved mucking out the pony barn. We used picks and shovels to break up the layers. Later years were spent in Study Hall, reflecting on our behavior choices. The former was a more lasting memory.
47 years at McDonogh and you want one memory: spirit parade, spirit parade announcements, first march across the bridge into Gilman, bollard decoration day, funeral for Edwards Gym, picnics on field trips, the graduations of two sons, exchanges with Odesa and Japan, cardboard boats, the house on Harley Hill, gardens, Room 1, Jane Bay on the back wall, paper cranes, Rome and lead poisoning, the chair, and D. Spagliardi noticing the changes in the halos of the Virgin Mary. And so many students.
Playing first trumpet in the school’s orchestra (dance band) for school dances and other events. Participants within the music program have, throughout the decades, shared a high level of affinity and respect for one another.
Climbing through the windows in the Eddies Gym basement so I could use the darkroom on the weekends.
McDonogh’s Holiday Project began in 1990 and partnered with St. Gregory’s Church in Baltimore. It initially sponsored 25 families and eventually included as many as 140, with gifts for the families’ children and fixings for a holiday dinner plus. Every year McDonogh took pride in gift-wrapping, assembling, and delivering everything for the families, with no family ever once being missed. The delivery flotilla of cars, vans, and trucks was always a sight to behold.
As a student leader in the Class of 1972, I remember the spring of 1971 when we learned that the Board had voted to eliminate the semi-military structure and become a civilian school the following fall, our senior year. It was only a year earlier when they announced that McDonogh would keep its military status. The decision didn’t fare well with the Class of 1971, who had a tumultuous year as the last military class. Many of us juniors winced at losing our senior year military leadership roles with majors’ oak leafs, captains’ bars, and sabers accompanying our uniforms, but we were also honored to be the class that would lead the way to a new structure that exists today.
I was a scholarship student at a time when scholarship students were required to be boarders. For nearly five years, McDonogh was not only my school but also my “home” in many ways. McDonogh transitioned away from its military heritage during those five years and experienced many other changes, but the campus and the community were a steady and dependable presence during a time of growth and change in my life. I am very thankful. To this day, the friendships I formed at McDonogh (especially in the dorms) remain incredibly valuable to me.