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John J. McDonnell Jr. ’61
Photo by Gary Gold
McDonnell ’61 Named Entrepreneur of the Year

John J. McDonnell Jr. ’61 was named the William F. Glaser ’53 2002 Rensselaer Entrepreneur of the Year by the Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship at Rensselaer’s Lally School of Management and Technology. McDonnell is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Transaction Network Services (TNS) in Reston, Va. He is the 13th recipient of the award.

A celebration in McDonnell’s honor was held at the Heffner Alumni House Nov. 8. “Jack McDonnell is a superb exemplar of the entrepreneurial spirit,” said Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson. “We note with pride that his achievements model well that hallmark of a Rensselaer education: the application of science to the common purposes of life.”

McDonnell founded TNS in 1990, and spent the decade developing and broadening his company’s service of providing fast, reliable data communications for credit card transactions. He sold TNS to Internet service provider PSINet in 1999, and then purchased it back again in 2001. His success has been the subject of several Washington Post articles and was featured in a leading Washington, D.C.-area trade publication.

Immediately prior to launching TNS, McDonnell was president and CEO of Digital Radio Network Inc., an access bypass carrier for point-of-sale transactions. He received a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Manhattan College and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Rensselaer.

The William F. Glaser ’53 Entrepreneur of the Year award recognizes successful entrepreneurs and role models. The program also brings the world of entrepreneurship into Rensselaer classrooms where honorees share wisdom, experience, and encouragement with students.

Rensselaer Magazine: March 2003
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