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Alumni Spotlight: Donald Winston '96

Donald Winston '96 and Laura, with their two children, Adrian and Zaria.  

Name: Donald Winston
Year of Scecina Graduation: 1996
College/University: Purdue University
Degree(s): Bachelor of Science in Organization Leadership and Supervision (2000), Master of Science in Industrial Engineering Technology (2001)
Current Position: Vice President, Operational Excellence Group for Ardagh Group – US Glass Division

By: Rose Timpe

You may remember Donald Winston, Class of 1996, from his accomplishments on the football field, on the basketball court and track. He was one of six finalists for Mr. Football in 1995 and won a state title in the high jump.

But Donald most cherishes advice Coach Ott Hurrle ’70 gave him on his first day of school that led to him graduating from a Division 1 college. Coach Hurrle’s advice was: “What are your goals and what do you want to accomplish while attending Scecina?”

Donald now is an accomplished Purdue University alumnus, graduating with his bachelor’s degree in 2000 and his master’s degree in 2001. He is vice president of Operational Excellence Group, a member of Ardagh North America, a global leader in glass, can, and metal packaging solutions in 22 countries. He is responsible for managing, communicating, and providing consistent direction supporting the overall company strategy.

Donald came from a background of poverty and was in and out of multiple schools. He started participating in CYO sports at St. Philip Neri and eventually became a student there. He met another instrumental mentor, Jim Brennan ‘85, a coach during his years at St. Philip Neri who guided him through his childhood.

His Scecina experience was an amazing time for Donald. He excelled academically and athletically, which prepared him for his current role in the corporate world. Scecina also was the first place Donald really appreciated and experienced the importance of faith and family. “My entire existence revolves around my faith in Jesus Christ as my savior,” Winston says now. “All of my closest friends were graduates of Scecina and having this type of family foundation was first exposed to me while attending Scecina. I hold myself accountable to fulfill the roles as a husband, father and friend with great respect and responsibility.”

Donald says Scecina has many advantages over other schools: community support, outstanding faculty, coaches, volunteers, and others who truly care about the students. Donald was also a part of the Godparent Program, which provides tuition assistance program Scecina students.

“The Godparent Program provided me the opportunity to receive a private school education from a prestigious Eastside school,” he says. “The blessing of the donors for this program represents everything about what the school has to offer outside of a great education.”

Donald feels it’s important to stay connected with Scecina because of the hope it provided him and the opportunities he received.

“Scecina provided a solid structure foundation for a kid coming from a background of poverty to have a dream to accomplish anything in life,” he says. “Scecina provided opportunities for me that would not have been available for someone with my social economic status. Anything I can do or provide to promote my experiences and give back is important to me.”

Donald and his wife, Laura, will celebrate their 16th wedding anniversary in July. They have two children, Adrian and Zaria. The family resides in Carmel and attend Traders Point Christian Church.

2 comments (Add your own)

1. Jan OBrien wrote:
I remember Donald very well. He was and is an asset to Scecina Memorial. He was a terrific athletic @ Scecina & Purdue and has gone on to excell in the business world! He has always appreciated his Scecina education and the friendships he has made and kept! Nice article on Donald and a lovely photo of his family! He has done well and I hope many Scecina students read Alumni Spotlight on him!

Jan O'Brien

Thu, June 2, 2016 @ 7:57 PM

2. Michael Blankenship wrote:
Donald is a good man with a good family.

Sat, June 4, 2016 @ 9:21 PM

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