Quality Magazine

Baldrige Program Bids Goodbye to Former Founder

March 23, 2012

The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program is saying farewell to Sandy McDonnell, a friend and leader who was critical to the program's start-up. McDonnell, 89, died on March 19 in the St. Louis area. In a career spent at the McDonnell Douglas Corp., McDonnell served as chief executive officer of McDonnell Douglas Corp. from 1972 until 1980, when he became board chairman. He served in this position until his retirement in 1988.

He had worked his way up from trainee.

"Sandy McDonnell was one of the two principals in founding the Baldrige Foundation and did much of the early fundraising," says Harry Hertz, director of the Baldrige Program. "I found him to be a remarkable man."

The promotion of ethics within business was a hallmark of McDonnell's career, and he exemplified this code in his personal conduct. McDonnell Douglas developed the code of ethics and philosophy during his tenure. He also served as a church elder and as national president of the Boy Scouts of America.

"Mr. McDonnell wanted to reverse Americans' distrust in business, government, churches, and other institutions," states the St. Louis Web site stltoday.com. "'The only way we can turn that around is for everyone to start trying to live up to a code of ethics like the Scout law or oath…,' McDonnell said.

Following his retirement, among his many philanthropic activities, McDonnell founded CHARACTERplus, a character education program for public schools.

The Baldrige Program extends its sympathy to his family.