Class of ’22 Alumni Spirit honorees: John C. Donnelly ’72 — investment banking expert

Each year, University of Detroit Mercy chooses an alumnus from each of its Colleges or Schools to honor as someone who has excelled in his or her profession, demonstrated outstanding leadership in work and devoted himself or herself in service to the larger community. Award recipients reflect the University’s mission of excellence and service and bring pride to their alma mater. This year, the University will celebrate seven honorees at a special ceremony Thursday, Sept. 29, at the Ballroom of the Student Union on the McNichols Campus. If you are interested in attending the event, you can purchase tickets at

This year, the College of Buisiness Administration is honoring John C. Donnelly ’72, Consulting Director, Donnelly Penman & Partners.

John Donnelly headshotDonnelly came to the University to earn his MBA after earning a bachelor’s degree at Georgetown University and began an illustrious career in finance as a commercial banker with two regional banks in Michigan.  

He joined Raymond James in 1999 when the legendary financial company purchased the Midwest-based investment banking and brokerage firm where Donnelly was a partner and member of the executive committee. He founded the investment banking firm Donnelly Penman & Partners in 2000 after previously founding the former Donnelly Penman Financial Services Fund, LP, a private equity fund that invested in community banks throughout the country.  

Donnelly is a nationally recognized expert on investment banking and he shares his insights and knowledge widely. He is in great demand as a speaker and pundit in state and national business publications. He also serves the University on the College of Business Administration’s Investment Advisory Council, where he oversees student investment strategies with the College of Business Administration’s MAJESTIC Fund. He has been a trustee of the Beaumont Health System and a former partner with Cornerstone Schools in Detroit. 

Other honorees this year are:

College of Health Professions — Linda Walton Little ’97, president and CEO, Neighborhood Service Organization
College of Liberal Arts & EducationMarlena Peleo-Lazar ’72, chief creative officer (Ret.), McDonald’s Corporation
College of Engineering & ScienceRose A. Ryntz, Ph.D. ’83, president, Ryntz & Associates, LLC
School of Dentistry — Cheri S. Newman ’89, ’90, ’98, adjunct professor (Ret.) Detroit Mercy Dental
School of Architecture & Community Design — Craig L. Wilkins ’85, senior lecturer of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan
School of Law — Patricia D. Kennedy-Scott ’78, regional president (Ret.), Kaiser Foundation Health of Ohio

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