Neumann presented honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees to Bill and Natalie McLaughlin on December 20 during a winter graduation ceremony that welcomed approximately 200 students into its alumni ranks.
The university awarded four associate degrees, 128 bachelor's degrees, 50 master's degrees, and 16 doctoral degrees at the 6 p.m. ceremony, officiated by Dr. Chris Domes and Board Chair Anthony Latini in the Mirenda Center.
Longtime friends of Neumann, the McLaughlins have exhibited unwavering support of education at all levels, contributed tirelessly to business and civic engagement in regional and international arenas, and shown steadfast loyalty to the mission of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia.
In addressing the graduates, Bill emphasized the value of making connections. His “secret sauce” for effective networking, he said, was asking questions and being a good listener.
Natalie invoked the university mission in her remarks, reminding the newly minted Neumann alumni that “knowledge is a gift to be used in the service of others and learning is a lifelong process,”
Bill McLaughlin is president of McLaughlin & Morgan, Inc. which assists Irish and American firms entering transatlantic markets. In 1999 he founded the Irish American Business Chamber & Network and advises the organization now as chairman emeritus. He started the Main Line Girls Basketball Association in 1992, and more than 15,000 girls have participated.
He is active in business, education, and civic organizations and serves on the boards of the Global Interdependence Center and SMART States. He was formerly on the boards of Neumann University, the President’s Advisory Council of LaSalle University, The Catholic Philopatrian Literary Institute, and Merion Community Association. He is also an ambassador of The Union League of Philadelphia.
Bill was raised with his four sisters in Sharon Hill, Delaware County. He was greatly influenced by his grandmother who emigrated from Ireland in 1889 at age 19 and lived with his family until she died in 1959. A graduate of Monsignor Bonner High School and LaSalle University, Bill was the first in his family to attend college.
Natalie Morgan McLaughlin worked with parents of neurologically impaired children at St. Christopher’s Hospital in North Philadelphia for twelve years before raising their children and volunteering in their schools.
She and Bill founded their former marketing communications business while she was pregnant with their youngest child, and she has assisted Bill with the Irish American Chamber, the Main Line Girls Basketball Association, and other non-profits. She also manages their investment properties.
A native of Kankakee County, Illinois, Natalie studied at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Illinois. She moved to Philadelphia after college and started her career.
Believing that a Neumann education should be accessible and affordable, they established the Bill & Natalie McLaughlin Scholarship Fund, which has been awarded six times to four students. A scholarship was also established in their honor by The Society of the Friendly Sons & Daughters of St. Patrick, which has helped additional students.
Bill and Natalie McLaughlin have been married for 42 years and live in Edgmont Township, Delaware County. They have three grown children and admit that they spoil their eight grandchildren, ages 1 to 10.