Thursday, December 18, 2014

Goodbye to a Man of the Mount

Brother Kevin Donohue, OSJD '49
THE ARCHDIOCESE and all of Los Angeles are mourning the passing Dec. 3 of Sir Daniel Donohue, president of the Dan Murphy Foundation and with his late wife, Bernardine, among the great philanthropists in the city.

As The Tidings' online obituary notes, Sir Daniel passed away at the age of 95. In his long career at the foundation, millions of dollars were granted to hospitals, social programs, schools and building the L.A. cathedral.

The obituary mentions that Sir Daniel studied at Catholic University, but omits his undergraduate alma mater: Mount St. Mary's College! He was an alumnus of the Class of 1949.

He was Brother Kevin in those days, a member of the Hospitallers of St. John of God, and with another brother, Oliver McGivern, was training for a vocation in social work. They commuted each day from from the orphanage in Chatsworth where they lived and worked.

They're mentioned in the 1949 yearbook as one of the notable sights around campus. They have their own page in the yearbook, which carries the editors' impressions of the pair:
Mount St. Mary’s turns "co-ed" … two Hospitaller Brothers of St. John of God … Social Welfare majors, social science and philosophy minors … active in work with boys … at Rancho San Antonio … members of SWES … dynamic on field trips … noticeable on campus … friendly smiles … flowing black habits … "Call us 'Brother,' please!" … enliven class discussions with varied experiences… familiar station wagon jogging on and off the hill… always cheerful … '49ers. 
Brother Kevin eventually left religious life, and in 1954 married Bernardine Murphy, daughter of Daniel Murphy, another great philanthropist with a recognizable name.

The names Donohue and Murphy grace many a building in Los Angeles, thanks to the generosity of this family. We're proud to call Sir Daniel one of our own.

Sidebar: Were Bros. Kevin and Oliver the first male Mount grads? Read the history here.