Chicago’s Who’s Who of corporate, political and religious circles gathered Tuesday with Leo High School to celebrate 1947 graduate Andrew McKenna, whose imprint on the City’s history now includes Leo’s Lifetime Achievement Award and more than $1 million raised and another pledge in a scholarship benefit befitting 90 years of educating young men at 79th and Sangamon on the South Side.

Rising out of the crowd of 300 was the first “surprise” speaker – Cardinal Blase Cupich, who captured the McKenna spirit.

“His whole life has been about investing in others,” said Cupich. “Tonight, we have…a visible way of seeing how that investment has a promise of paying off great dividends in the future.”

McKenna, one of the city’s best-connected executives, was president of both Chicago baseball teams. He is the force credited with keeping the Sox in town.

Regarded as “The Chairman” by friends, McKenna also owns Schwarz Supply Source, a Morton Grove-based paper company; serves on an extensive list of community, civic and philanthropic boards; and until retiring in May, had been chairman of fast food behemoth McDonald’s for the past 12 years.

The Leo freshman needed three streetcars to get to school and became sports editor of the school newspaper – The Oriole.

His message for the young Leo men in attendance:

“The world is just yearning for young men like this and the opportunities are enormous. Stick with it. Show up.”