Loyola University Chicago

Department of English

McNeill/Donohue Undergraduate Scholarships

Agnes McNeill Donohue

Born and raised in Sheboygan, WI, Professor Agnes Donohue was one of many nationally recognized scholars trained in Loyola's Department of English. She attended Rosary College in River Forest, Ill., and earned an M.A. at the University of Wisconsin before coming to Loyola for her doctoral work. She completed her doctorate in 1954 and took teaching positions both at the University of Illinois (during its years on Navy Pier) and at Barat College, where she rose to become professor and chairman of the English department. During those years (as later) Dr. Donohue's scholarly work focused heavily on Hawthorne, and she published a collection of essays, The Hawthorne Question (Crowell) in 1963. More generally, Professor Donohue was interested in all facets of American literature, which she taught regularly, and in 1968, she edited for publication a collection of essays under the title A Casebook on The Grapes of Wrath (Crowell, 1968).

In 1967, Professor Donohue returned to Loyola as a professor in the English department, where, since American literature had become a popular field for aspiring students, she directed many doctoral dissertations. A second book on Hawthorne, Hawthorne: Calvin's Ironic Stepchild was published by Kent State University Press in 1985 as the result of her continued work on this, her favorite author.

Dr. Donohue retired from teaching in 1988 and died in 2003.


Dr. Donohue's brother, Donald T. ("Don") McNeill, was a well-known and much loved radio personality in Chicago. His "Breakfast Club" program is still fondly remembered by a great many Chicagoans. When Mr. McNeill died in the 1990s, his will included a generous bequest to establish undergraduate scholarships in English jointly in his name and in Dr. Donohue's. The department currently awards two scholarships each year to English majors in their sophomore or junior years at Loyola on the basis of their high grades and potential for future scholarship in the discipline.