Portrait photo of Mary Ellen McLane McDonough '73
Mary Ellen McLane McDonough '73 is the honoree for Marywood University's 11th Annual Community Leadership Celebration.

Community Leadership Celebration to Honor Mary Ellen McDonough '73

Marywood University’s 11th Annual Community Leadership Celebration will honor community leader and Marywood alumna Mary Ellen McDonough '73, with a special spotlight on retiring Marywood President, Sister Mary Persico, IHM, Ed.D. '69 , on Thursday, May 2, 2024, 5:30 p.m., at the Center for Athletics and Wellness on the University’s campus. During the celebration, Mrs. McDonough will receive the University’s Lead On Award, in recognition of her dedicated service as both a Certified Prevention Specialist and as a community volunteer leader.

The Community Leadership Celebration, Marywood's signature fundraiser, provides special support to Marywood students and honors individuals in the community who exemplify Marywood’s core values in leadership and service to others. Proceeds from this year's event will benefit campus improvements as part of the EMPOWER Campaign.

Drawing on her innate sense of hope and her compassion for others, Mrs. McDonough’s professional world developed around her desire to do more and to do better for her community. She and her husband, Jim, have four children and seven grandchildren. Her devotion to and caregiving of her family has extended to countless children, individuals, and families she has served in the community. During the years when she was raising her family, Mrs. McDonough noticed a lack of a drug and alcohol curriculum in her children's schools. She decided to create the South Scranton Drug and Alcohol Task Force to raise money for drug and alcohol education in Scranton’s parochial school system. Her professional life evolved out of her volunteer work, leading to a long, meaningful professional career as a Certified Prevention Specialist (CPS) with the Lackawanna Drug and Alcohol Commission, through which she made a positive, enduring impact on the many regional educators, parents, and students who benefited from her compassionate expertise in prevention programming.

Her community involvement has encompassed numerous board memberships, leadership positions, and volunteer efforts for Catholic Social Services, Divine Mercy Parish at St. Joseph’s Church, South Scranton Drug Curriculum Task Force, and more. At Marywood, Mary Ellen served as a Member of the Board of Trustees and on the Alumni Association Board. In 2008, she merited the Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Education and Human Development, which recognized her many professional accomplishments. She co-chaired the Inauguration Committee for Marywood’s 12th President and, along with Atty. Pat Brier, co-chaired Marywood’s Community Leadership Celebration at its inception.

Special Spotlight on Sister Mary Persico, IHM, Ed.D. '69

Michael Bugno, CLC ChairThe event will feature a special spotlight on Sister Mary Persico, IHM, Ed.D. '69 , the 12th President of Marywood University, who will retire on June 30 after guiding Marywood for the past eight years with her collaborative leadership and bold vision. Sister Mary has devoted her life to promoting the mission and core values of Marywood University. During her tenure at Marywood, Sister Mary made strides in the scholarly life of the university by restructuring and streamlining the Colleges, adding or expanding several signature academic programs, and establishing the Offices of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Global Education. During her eight years, the university has welcomed national retail partnerships to Marywood, including Starbucks, the popular Gear Shop, Apple and Amazon stores.

Throughout her tenure, the University endowment has nearly doubled and maintained a fiscally responsible status, even during universally challenging financial times in higher education. To further strengthen Marywood’s future, Sister Mary is presently bringing the University’s $30 million comprehensive campaign to its conclusion. This campaign is designed to fund new construction and academic spaces on campus, provide scholarships for students, and enhance the student experience.

In moments such as an unprecedented global pandemic, Sister Mary supported the entire community of faculty, staff, and students with strength and confidence.

Sister Mary’s engagement both in the public arena and right on campus among the students are two highlights of her presidency. She represented us well locally, nationally, and even internationally, but when asked, Sister Mary will always tell you that the best part of the job was interacting with the wonderful people who are our students.

Alumnus/Trustee Michael E. Bugno '98 Serving as CLC Chair

Michael Bugno, CLC ChairMichael E. Bugno '98, a Marywood University alumnus and trustee, will chair Marywood University’s 11th Annual Community Leadership Celebration.

Mr. Bugno, formerly of Clarks Summit, is an accomplished experiential marketing and strategic global events leader, with more than 20 years of planning and executing successful corporate trade shows and events for mid-sized and Fortune 150 companies. Presently, he is the Vice President, Enterprise Experiential Marketing, at Fiserv, based in New York, N.Y.

Prior to Fiserv, Mr. Bugno held a number of leadership positions at Lectra, Food Network, and Comedy Central. He began his career at Walt Disney World, where he was involved in College & International Marketing and Recruiting. Mr. Bugno graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in theatre arts administration in 1998, and he has had a longstanding relationship with the university ever since. He received the Marywood Alumni Association Recent Graduate Award in 2004 and served as a Marywood University trustee from 2006-2015. In 2019, he again joined Marywood’s Board of Trustees. Mr. Bugno has co-chaired and/or worked on sponsorships for the Annual Community Leadership Celebration (CLC) since its inception in 2014.

To join Marywood University in honoring Mary Ellen McDonough and in recognizing Sister Mary Persico, IHM, at the Community Leadership Celebration on May 2, or for details about event sponsorships, please visit:

11th Annual Community Leadership Celebration