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Ellen McDonald

Golden Ex of the Year - Class of 1972 & 1978 (B.S., M.Ed.)

It’s been 50 years since Ellen McDonald first graduated from ASU, but her love and support of her alma mater is as strong now as it was in 1972.

A San Angelo native, McDonald earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at ASU before working 30-plus years as an elementary school teacher and counselor. Her fondest memories of her time as a student include attending Rams football games and going to night school for her master’s degree.

Since then, she has enjoyed watching ASU’s tremendous growth through new developments like dual credit and online classes, new degree programs, and the addition of top-class facilities of all kinds.

“When I was a student, the only buildings I remember east of Johnson Street were the gym, Baptist Student Union, and men’s and women’s high-rise dorms,” McDonald said. “Now there are multiple academic buildings, a pavilion, student housing and the Junell Center/Stephens Arena.”

“Another facility that wasn’t here when I was a student is the LeGrand Alumni Center,” she added. “The Mayer Museum and Stephens Chapel are also great additions to the campus.”

Throughout ASU’s growth, McDonald and her husband, Dale, have been right here, supporting programs like Fostering Ram Success and the Ram Pantry, volunteering at Rams Jams and other campus activities, and attending as many alumni and athletic events as possible.

“I’m very proud to say I’m a graduate of ASU.”

“My husband and I are both retired,” McDonald said, “and we’ve read that if you want to have a good quality of retired life, you should stay socially connected. We enjoy doing that by attending events and supporting programs at ASU. When we get an invitation to an event at ASU, it’s a priority on our calendar.”

McDonald also served eight years on the Alumni Association Board of Directors, and along with Dale, sponsored a pew in the Stephens Chapel and the McDonald Fountain at the LeGrand Center.

For her outstanding and ongoing dedication to ASU, the Alumni Association has named McDonald its 2022 Golden Ex of the Year.

“The best thing that’s ever happened in my life is when my husband proposed marriage,” McDonald said. “The nicest thing that’s ever happened to me is being honored as the Golden Ex. I just don’t remember anything as nice as this. It brings tears to my eyes whenever I think about it.”

“I’m very proud to say I’m a graduate of ASU. It’s a wonderful place to get an education, and I’d recommend it to anyone.”