Doug Donnelly '92
by Lisa McNulty
Douglas Donnelly, who goes by Doug, graduated with his Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism and History in 1992. Doug was a commuter student like many others that attend Eastern Michigan University. He said, “I think for every semester that I was at EMU, I had an 8 a.m. class so that I knew I could get a parking spot!”
Many can relate to that and the 45 minute commute he made to campus every day. Doug was not sure if having an 8 a.m. class every semester was the fondest memory he has of Eastern but he said, “It was definitely something that stands out and it was worth it.”
While attending school Doug worked nearly full-time. One job he held for a couple of semesters was at the EMU Sports Information Office with Jim Streeter. “I really enjoyed going through the old athletic files and clippings,” he said.
Doug was not involved much with campus life while he was a student. He said, “I think the only on-campus event I went to was a Sinbad concert.” However, being a commuter student he spent a lot of time at the library between classes. Now when he has the chance to return to campus he visits Halle library.
One faculty member from Eastern made a great impact on his life. He said, “Curt Stadtfeld. He left a lasting impression on me to say the least.” Doug took as many classes with Stadtfeld as he could and says he learned so much about being a reporter – not just what questions to ask, but how to ask them. He said, “He was a master.”
A few years after graduation Doug said he went back to visit Curt Stadtfeld and was stunned to find out he had passed away. He mentioned, “I still have a signed copy of a story he wrote after a trip to South Africa. I treasure it. He made a lasting impact on me without a doubt.”
When asked what he would tell new grads he said, “It’s easy to say something like, ‘you have to follow your passion’ but you also have to be realistic.” He goes on to say, “Find your passion, but be willing to adapt. Life throws a million curveballs at you – sometimes all at once. Be willing to face the adversity and react positively to it.”
One of Doug’s biggest career achievements was being the City Editor for The Monroe Evening News before he was 30. He said, “Well-known author and columnist Bob Greene (then of the Chicago Tribune) wrote a column about that.” He also said, “The Evening News was a great place to be a reporter and editor but, unfortunately, over the years, things changed. Newspapers aren’t the same.”
Doug is currently the Director of Communications for Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA). ARCA is the second-oldest national stock car racing touring series behind NASCAR and races across the country every year.
What is Doug most proud of? He said, “That’s difficult to say. Maybe my greatest work achievement is still to come. Is it too cliché to say I want to write a book?”