Mary Ann Hynes
College of Arts and Sciences Commencement Address
Candidate for the Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters
General Counsel, Archdiocese of Chicago
Mary Ann Hynes (BA ‘90) is general counsel for the Archdiocese of Chicago, as well as a champion of professional women in law and other leadership positions. Hynes received an Executive MBA from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Business, an LLM in Taxation and a JD from John Marshall Law School, and a BA from Loyola University Chicago, where she studied mathematics and political science. Hynes has contributed to her professional community while also blazing a trail for other women leaders.
Throughout her career, Hynes has focused on expanding opportunities for women in law and championing the cause of diversity in the legal profession. When she started law school in 1967 at age 20, she was among only seven women in her entire school. By age 32, Hynes was a senior executive officer and working mother of two. She realized early on in her career that women need mentors—someone to help them navigate corporate law. Hynes is known and highly respected for her extensive experience in governance, compliance, and mergers and acquisitions, focusing on international growth, innovation, strategy, and risk management. She has worked in a variety of fields, including publishing, aeronautics, manufacturing, agriculture, and mining.
Since 2002, Hynes has been the director of the Dr. Scholl Foundation, a private grant-making foundation that provides financial assistance to charitable organizations committed to improving our world. The foundation believes the solutions to the problems of today’s world lie in the values of innovation, practicality, hard work, and compassion. She has also served for many years as a mentor through the Chicago Network, an organization that works to increase the number of women in executive positions.
Hynes has served on the board of directors for the Mid-America Chapter of the United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, the Women’s Bar Foundation, and the Big Shoulders Fund of Chicago. She was recently appointed as a trustee of the John Marshall Law School in 2007, as well as treasurer and audit chair. She is a member of many professional associations and an active volunteer. She has served as a member of the Advisory Manufacturing Council to the U.S. secretary of commerce.
Known for many firsts in the industry, Hynes was the first female general counsel for a Fortune 500 Company less than 10 years out of law school. She was the first female officer of Sundstrand Corporation and the Chicago Crime Commission and the first female member of the North Shore General Counsel Association.
Hynes has received numerous honors and awards, including Loyola’s Damen Award in 2015. She also received the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award (2015), the Award for Professional Excellence (2015) from the Harvard Center on the Legal Profession, the Anti-Defamation League Women of Achievement Award (2013), and others.