Contact: Patti LaSalle
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August 28, 2006

Former Dallas City Manager Scott McDonald Dies

DALLAS (SMU) — Former Dallas City Manager Scott McDonald Sr. died Monday, August 28. He was killed in an accident when trying to move a power line that had fallen because of the storm on Sunday. He was 98 years old.

McDonald worked for the City of Dallas for 30 years, beginning in 1942. He first served as a design engineer in the Department of Public Works. In 1952 he was named assistant city manager, and in 1966 he became city manager, retiring from that position in 1972.

Much of the growth of Dallas as a major urban center began during McDonald's tenure with the city. He led a team that traveled throughout the United States, particularly in the Northeast, visiting major cities that might provide models for Dallas as city officials began to plan for the city's growth and the infrastructure needed to support that growth.

McDonald worked closely with renowned architect I.M. Pei in the design and construction of Dallas City Hall and was also involved in construction of the Dallas Convention Center. In the 1950s, he oversaw construction of the many reservoirs that still provide water for Dallas. The project during McDonald's tenure that had the largest impact on Dallas was construction of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

McDonald was born on July 23, 1908. He grew up in Pilot Point, Texas, where he staffed the soda fountain at McDonald's Drug Store. He graduated from Pilot Point High School in 1926 and entered SMU's School of Engineering.

McDonald earned his civil engineering degree from SMU in 1931 in the Engineering School's second graduating class. He participated in the engineering co-op program, the oldest such program in the Southwest. As part of the co-op program, he worked with the Cottonbelt Railroad, headquartered in Jonesboro, Arkansas. He would attend classes on campus for four weeks and then catch the train for Jonesborough to

spend four weeks on the job, alternating work and study through the year. While at SMU, he was a member of Delta Chi Fraternity, Theta Alpha Omega Honorary Engineering Fraternity, and vice president of the Civil Engineering Society.

"Scott McDonald Sr. was a beloved and esteemed member of the SMU community," said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. "As city manager, he helped the City of Dallas to advance and represented the close link between SMU and the city. SMU was proud to give him the School of Engineering's 2006 Hall of Leaders Award for his outstanding achievements, an award he shared with his son, Scott Jr., also a distinguished SMU alumnus. We extend our sympathies to his loved ones. He will be missed as a member of the University family."

In addition to the School of Engineering Hall of Leaders Award earlier this year, McDonald received the SMU Distinguished Alumni Award in 1978. His other honors include the 1966 Outstanding Achievement Award of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Dallas Citizen of the Year Award from the Kiwanis Club of Dallas, and 1973 Outstanding Engineer of the Year Award from the Texas Society of Professional Engineers.

"As an engineer and leader, Scott McDonald Sr.'s profound contributions to our community have forever changed the City of Dallas," SMU Engineering School Dean Geoffrey C. Orsak said. "His humility and selfless leadership serve as testaments to a great man and a great life."

After graduating from SMU during the Great Depression, McDonald and a fellow classmate, Walter Hill, found that jobs were scarce so they began a business painting street addresses on sidewalks. Soon after, McDonald took a job as an engineer with the Texas State Highway Department, where he was involved in planning Central Expressway, Harry Hines Boulevard, and U.S. Highways 80 and 175. After 11 years with the Highway Department, he began his career of three decades with the City of Dallas.

McDonald and his wife, Evelyn Foster Moore McDonald, married in 1934. They had three children, eight grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren. McDonald is preceded in death by his wife and son Stephen George. He is survived by his son Scott Jr. and daughter, Elizabeth Lynn McDonald Murray.

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