News Release

Daniel McDonald elected Chair of the U of M Alumni Association


Daniel McDonald, a partner at the intellectual property law firm Merchant & Gould, has been elected chair of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association’s Board of Directors for 2016-17. He is the 80th chair in the organization’s 112-year history.

 “I’m honored to serve as the chair of the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors,” said McDonald, B.E.E ’82, J.D. ’85. “Our Alumni Association has ambitious goals to strengthen our relationships with alumni all over Minnesota and the world. While this will take much hard work and focus, the end goal will benefit alumni, the University and the state of Minnesota in many ways.”

McDonald officially assumed his role on July 1. Outgoing board chair, Alison Page, presented McDonald with the gavel at the Alumni Association’s Annual Celebration on April 15, 2016.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Dan as the chair of our Board of Directors,” said Lisa Lewis, president and CEO of the Alumni Association. “Dan’s passion for the University, his expertise and broad knowledge of the University and the Alumni Association will benefit the organization greatly as we engage with over 466,000 alumni, inspire students and strengthen the University community.”

An experienced attorney and partner at Merchant & Gould, he was recently named “Attorney of the Year 2015” by Minnesota Lawyer. In private practice for 30 years, McDonald focuses on patent litigation, trademark/trade dress litigation, copyright litigation and trade secret litigation with an emphasis on electronics, software and Internet issues.

McDonald has been active in professional associations in the legal field and has served in various leadership positions. McDonald has served on Merchant & Gould Executive Committee multiple times and currently serves as chair of the firm's litigation practice group. He also serves on the Advisory Board for the University of Minnesota Law School.

New board members joining the U of M Alumni Association Board of Directors include:

  • Jim Abrahamson- At Large Director Position
  • Eric Brotten- Student and Recent Alumni Council Director
  • Mark Jessen- At Large Director Position
  • Akira Nakamura- Geographic Council Director
  • Ann Sheldon- Collegiate Council Director
  • Tony Wagner- At Large Director Position
  • Myah Walker- Collegiate Council Director
  • Scott Wallace- At Large Director Position
  • Abeer Syedah, Minnesota Student Association
  • Nicholas Goldsmith, Council of Graduate Students
  • Catherine French, Faculty Consultative Committee

About the University of Minnesota Alumni Association

The University of Minnesota Alumni Association connects alumni with each other, supports student success and advances the university. Members make Alumni Association programs strong, but all alumni share the sense of belonging to something big. Learn more at or call 800-862-5867.

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