Chicago Blackhawks CEO visits Benedictine University

by Amanda Jarzynski


John McDonough, the President and CEO of the Chicago Blackhawks, was the guest speaker at Benedictine University’s Letterman’s Dinner, which took place in the Dan and Ada Rice Center Monday night.

“It was a really unique experience.  It’s not every day you get to hear someone like John McDonough speak,” said senior basketball player Mike Woolf.

The dinner was hosted on the basketball court.  The area had been completely transformed into a dining hall with 15 tables for people to eat along with tables for raffles and silent auction items.

The stage was set up with two podiums and two projection screens on either side.  For those over the legal drinking age, there was a cash bar which stayed open for most of the event.

When the time came, the meal began after prayer was said over the food and the guests.  Benedictine athletes assisted staff members to wait tables and clean up the dirty dishes when dinner was over.

After dinner, a video was shown on the projection screens displaying the journey that the Blackhawks have been on since McDonough started with them.  Finally, McDonough was invited to the stage.  He was asked questions and then allowed the members of the audience to ask any questions they may have.

“It was great that Benedictine was able to get John McDonough here to speak. He had a great message and was very inspiring,” said senior basketball player Alex Edmondson.

It was important for young student athletes to hear what someone as influential as McDonough had to say regarding the Blackhawks, as well as pursuing a career in the athletic department.

“He’s obviously been very successful in his profession, and he had some really great advice. It was something that I learned from and I’m sure everyone there enjoyed listening to him speak,” said Woolf.

Afterward, McDonough was presented with the letter “B” representing Benedictine University.  The night ended with the announcement of the raffle and auction winners.