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Celebrating the Rollins-Luetkemeyer Foundation

For more than 60 years, the Rollins-Luetkemeyer (R-L) Foundation has supported McDonogh School with both transformational philanthropic gifts and deft strategic work on the Board of Trustees.

Today, the School celebrates the Foundation, its original founders, and its current Trustee-delegates John “Jack” Luetkemeyer, Jr. and Robert Black III ‘80 as they step away from McDonogh’s Board of Trustees after 56 years of total combined service.

In a letter to the McDonogh community dated November 9, 2022, Board President Robert Young III ‘86 and Head of School David J. Farace ‘87 expressed their sincere appreciation: “Jack and Rob have done the greatest possible amount of good for McDonogh. Both men have worked tirelessly to keep excellence front-and-center on the Board, and their conviction and strategic acumen have helped us navigate every major challenge and transition during their tenure. Their leadership has catapulted the School forward and inspired thousands of new donors. And their commitment to scholarship and middle-income financial aid will be felt for generations to come.”

It was also announced in the letter that the Board of Trustees of McDonogh School has conferred upon Jack Luetkemeyer the honorary designation of Trustee Emeritus in recognition of his contributions.

The R-L Foundation’s total giving to McDonogh exceeds $50M, including leadership and matching gifts as part of every major capital campaign the School has undertaken. Beyond the Foundation’s largest and most visible contributions to McDonogh, dozens of special programs and funds have also been made possible with the R-L’s incredible support over the years.

The Rollins-Luetkemeyer Athletic Center, the Rollins- Luetkemeyer Scholars program, and the Rollins-Luetkemeyer endowed teaching chair all bear the Foundation’s name.

Referring to the Foundation’s long commitment to McDonogh, Young and Farace said, “At every turn where the School had a need, two generations of stewards deeply committed to this great institution have stood at the ready. Their impact is impossible to measure.”

In concluding their message to the McDonogh Community, they shared, “The Rollins-Luetkemeyer Foundation will always be a part of the McDonogh story and family, and we look forward to many more years of continued friendship.”

H. Beale Rollins was a scholarship student who graduated from McDonogh in 1915 as valedictorian of his class. The Foundation that he later created in 1961 with his friend and longtime banking partner John A. Luetkemeyer, Sr. has played a pivotal role in McDonogh’s growth and success.

Rollins lived on McDonogh’s campus until his death in 1985; he served on the Board of Trustees for more than 27 years, beginning in 1958. An attorney who made his fortune in transportation and logistics, Rollins’ philanthropic legacy lives on not only at McDonogh but across the Baltimore region through a wide variety of education and arts-related causes. He was also the first inductee into McDonogh’s Circle of Philanthropy, the School’s highest philanthropic honor.

A graduate of the Hill School in Pottstown, PA, John Luetkemeyer, Sr. joined the Marines in 1942 and was awarded two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star during his time of service. Professionally, he worked at Equitable Bank for the entirety of his 42-year career, ascending to CEO and eventually retiring as Chairman. He was also a civic leader who served as State Treasurer of Maryland from 1963 to 1973.

Today, the Rollins-Luetkemeyer Foundation is led by Jack Luetkemeyer, Jr. who has served on the McDonogh Board of Trustees for 37 years. In February 2021, he was also inducted into the School’s Circle of Philanthropy.