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Sanctae Crucis Awards 1998

William E. McKenna ’47

Bill McKenna is a sage of American business. To read his resume is to peruse a Who’s Who of the corporate universe. Bill has served in executive positions at many of the nation’s premier companies. He has been a director of such companies as Drexler Technology, Connecticut Galvanizing, the Flying Tiger Corporation, and Giffen Industries.

After distinguished service in the U.S. Navy Air Corps in Word War II, for which he won an Air Medal, an Air Combat Insignia, and a Presidential Personal Citation, Bill graduated from Holy Cross with a degree in economics. Upon earning his M.B.A. from Harvard, he became a certified public accountant in New York and California. In 1953, he was named controller of Monroe Business Systems and three years later he was named the company’s director and vice president of manufacturing.

By 1964, Bill had become senior vice president of Litton Industries. Two years later, he became a member of Litton’s board of directors. In 1967, Bill became president and chief executive officer of Hunt Foods and Industries and subsequently became Chairman of Hunt Foods. When Hunt Foods was merged with Canada Dry Corp., Bill was selected as chairman of the board and chief executive of the new company, Norton Simon, Inc. In 1970, he became chairman of the board and director of Technicolor, Inc. Somehow, in the midst of establishing this amazing career, Bill found time to put together a superlative golf game. Indeed, he is still a force to be reckoned with at the Bel-Air Country Club.

Today, Bill is a general partner of the MCK Investment Company. He is also a director of California Amplifier, Safeguard Health, Midway Games, and WMS Industries. He and his beloved wife, Mary, reside in Beverly Hills, CA where, for the past 25 years, they have hosted the Holy Cross Club of Southern California’s annual dinner and reception.

In recognition of a man whose name has become synonymous with the highest degree of business acumen, planning, and management, the College of the Holy Cross presents to William McKenna the Sanctae Crucis Award.