Finance Leader Donna Winn '76 to Speak at Holy Cross

Advocate for women's financial literacy, survivor of cancer and 9/11 attacks

Donna Winn ’76, a veteran of the financial industry, will deliver the Thomas More Lecture on Faith, Work and Civic Life on Tuesday, March 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Rehm Library, Smith Hall at the College of the Holy Cross. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Winn, who studied economics at Holy Cross, served as president and CEO of OFI Private Investments, Inc., a subsidiary of OppenheimerFunds, Inc., from 2001 until her retirement in 2010. There, she was responsible for the private wealth business line including the company’s 529 plan, separately managed accounts, registered investment advisors, legacy accounts and mutual fund wraps. Previously, she was senior vice president of distribution services at OppenheimerFunds and worked more than two decades at Merrill Lynch.

In 2001, Winn was working in the South Tower of the World Trade Center when it was attacked by terrorists on 9/11. OppenheimerFunds occupied five floors of the building—luckily all 600 employees escaped and survived the attack.

Ten years later, Winn’s perseverance was tested again when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She says persistence and a positive attitude keep her focusing forward.

Winn has become a leading advocate for women’s financial literacy and financial planning for higher education. “We found that American women are deeply involved in their children’s educational lives,” she says. “Yet, for all of their support both in and out of the classroom, many women take a backseat when it comes to the saving and investment part.”

A member of the Holy Cross Board of Trustees, she serves on the Institutional Advancement and Buildings and Grounds committees. She is also an enthusiastic supporter of the College’s internship programs and funds 20-30 internships each summer as part of the Holy Cross Leadership Council of New York.

The Thomas More Lecture on Faith, Work and Civic Life honors a graduate of Holy Cross who exemplifies the College’s dedication to the integration of faith and learning.

To learn more about Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture events and to listen to past lectures online, visit

About The McFarland Center:

The Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture provides resources for faculty and course development, sponsors conferences and college-wide teaching events, hosts visiting fellows, and coordinates a number of campus lecture series. Rooted in the College's commitment to invite conversation about basic human questions, the Center welcomes persons of all faiths and seeks to foster dialogue that acknowledges and respects differences, providing a forum for intellectual exchange that is interreligious, interdisciplinary, intercultural, and international in scope.  The McFarland Center also brings members of the Holy Cross community into conversation with the Greater Worcester community, the academic community, and the wider world to examine the role of faith and inquiry in higher education and in the larger culture.