Maureen McGonagle

Director of Campus Recreation at DePaul University

Ms. McGonagle provides vision and leadership for DePaul University's dynamic and comprehensive Campus Recreation Department. She supervises 13 full-time staff and over 200 part-time staff. She administers a $5 million budget, generates $3 million in non-student fee revenue, and operates an award-winning 123,000 square foot facility. Ms. McGonagle created and nurtures an environment that inspires innovation, values excellence, and facilitates effective student development. She is active in the DePaul community, teaching for PE, serving as a staff professional for Explore Chicago, and serving as a judicial case advisor for the Dean of Students office. Previous positions included associate director of campus recreation at UIC, director of intramurals at UIC, and graduate assistant of intramurals and special events at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Back to Listing

M.B.A. Strategic Planning, Marketing, HR Management (University of Illinois at Chicago)

M.S. (abt) Leisure Services Administration (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

B.S. Leisure Studies Program Management and Business (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)


Collegiate Recreation Leadership Summit, host and faculty, 2017 – present

NIRSA Executive Education task force, chair 2014-2016

NIRSA Honor Award, 2015

NIRSA Past Presidents’ Representative, 2010-2012

Horace Moody Award, 2008

NIRSA Board Member (President-Elect 2005-2006, President 2006-2007, Past President 2007-2008)

NIRSA Service Award, 1989, 1992, 1998, 2004, 2010

Governance Commission Member 2007-2009

NIRSA Services Corporation, 2004-2005, 2007-2008

NIRSA Foundation Board Member, 2006-2007

School of Recreational Sports Management, Faculty & Chair, 2000-2003

Lead On Founder & Coordinator

Committee Chair (Honor Award, Nominations & Elections, Annual Conference Program, Career Opportunities, Recreational Sports & Fitness Magazine Advisory Board, 50th Celebration, Student Professional Development)

Embezzlers, Swindlers and Thieves, Oh My! – Athletic Business Conference DOWNLOAD
It’s About Time! – Athletic Business Conference DOWNLOAD
Storytelling – Athletic Business Conference DOWNLOAD
Organizational Culture – Athletic Business Conference DOWNLOAD
Informed Decision Making: Answering “Why?” – Athletic Business Conference DOWNLOAD
Gender Non-Conforming Students: Locker Room Use and Program Participation – NIRSA Annual Conference DOWNLOAD
Embezzlers, Swindlers, and Thieves, Oh My! – Athletic Business Conference DOWNLOAD
Successful Collaborations: Building Relationships, Improving Outcomes, and Leveraging Synergy DOWNLOAD
Sustainability Ambassador Training DOWNLOAD
Sustainability Microsession DOWNLOAD
Sustainability: Positioning Yourself and Your Organization for Long-Term Success DOWNLOAD
Achieving Excellence: The Role of Department Culture DOWNLOAD
Building Community Through Physical Space DOWNLOAD
Campus Recreational Sports: Managing Employees, Programs, Facilities, and Services
Achieving Departmental Excellence: Departmental Culture DOWNLOAD
Increasing Interview Effectiveness DOWNLOAD
Achieving Departmental Excellence: Starting with the Hiring Process DOWNLOAD
National Women’s History Month – Maureen McGonagle

In honor of National Women’s History Month, CENTERS wants to thank the exceptional women in our company – we would not be where we are today with out each and every one of you. As a company that currently manages 10 sites, we are proud to say that 60% of our directors are female. We took some time to pick their brains on how working for CENTERS has impacted their professional careers and to lend some advice for future leaders. Up first is CENTERS’ very first employee, Maureen McGonagle, better known as Moe, the Director of Campus Recreation at CENTERS, LLC at DePaul University.

Moe was hired by CENTERS in 1998 and has been leading the troops at our very first site, DePaul University, for 22.5 years. When asked what has kept her coming back each and every day, Moe replied with “I appreciate our focus on excellence and innovation, and the flexibility in the approach to our work. I also appreciate the support.” Moe has operated under a specific business plan every year and she has consistently innovated to deliver value to DePaul by converting concepts into efficiently delivered programs.

Can you talk about how the CENTERS Culture with POI, our commitment to Better is Better, our Quest for X, and cross-site collaboration opportunities helps motivate you to continue learning and growing within the CENTERS organization?

CENTERS actively nurtures a growth mindset, and we are proactive in creating opportunities to excel. There are a variety of mechanisms (Quest for X, Better is Better) to provide ongoing challenge and support, and we’re always looking for, and creating, opportunities that strengthen our team and our company.

What women inspire you, and which of CENTERS’ core values/attributes do they exemplify most?

My daughter inspires me; she is passionate, dedicated, and fierce when faced with adversity. She relentlessly pursues excellence, and is always looking for ways to improve herself and the organizations she works with. Although she is not a CENTERS employee, she embodies our core values and is a reminder to me of what we are trying to be as a company.

How do you feel having strong and respected women leaders in the company attracts women and minority talent to the company?

An individual’s commitment to an organization is strongest when there is a sense of belonging, which goes a step beyond the goals of diversity and inclusion. When people with different experiences have a true voice in our leadership, it proves our commitment and helps align our intent with our impact. This active role modeling is also an important aspect of talent development.

How does working for CENTERS help you overcome common challenges and inefficiencies that campus recreation professionals that work outside the company live with?

There are many development opportunities that we are able to offer our staff that are much more difficult to provide within a normal university bureaucracy. An example — at Centers @ DePaul we give our full-time staff frequent opportunities to switch job responsibilities (partial or full job swaps) as a way to keep them engaged, challenged, and constantly growing. We’ve been able to prioritize our staff experience, which ultimately allows us to better serve our students and the university community.

What are the most important competencies that younger women professionals need to acquire to become the next generation of leaders in the industry?

In my experience women tend to underestimate (and be less confident in) their skills and abilities compared to men. Supervisors can help emerging women leaders identify and leverage their strengths, and help boost their confidence.

If someone asked you to describe CENTERS, what would you say?

CENTERS is a collection of passionate, supportive, and high-achieving staff who are devoted to serving students well. We are creative and driven in our quest for excellence.

Speaking of the Quest for Excellence… Moe was one of the first employees to receive the CENTERS “Quest for X” Award. The Quest for X Award is an internal award that recognizes employees who consistently portray CENTERS essential attitudes and employee attributes on a daily basis. This is demonstrated through their outstanding accomplishments, commitment, or service as well as for bringing an overall excitement and awareness to their fellow co-workers’ contributions. Moe was selected by the CENTERS owners as a founding recipient of this award specifically due to her ability to be a role model to the entire company and to show what the award truly represents. Moe has beyond exceeded all expectations as she has pioneered the way for not only women in CENTERS, but NIRSA as a whole. Moe was awarded the NIRSA Honors Award (highest award given at NIRSA) in 2015 as well as the NIRSA Horace Moody Award in 2008. She has been recognized many times over the years at the National, Regional and Campus level for her excellence, professionalism, leadership, and knowledge.

Moe, thank you for all that you have done to contribute to CENTERS’ history and future. We all could learn something from you.

Living the Vincentian Legacy at the Ray

“As the university’s largest employer of student workers – more than 140 student employees – Campus Rec holds a special responsibility in shaping students’ futures beyond DePaul.”

View the Article Here.

Maureen McGonagle Recipient of the 2015 NIRSA Honor Award
Maureen McGonagle begins serving on the NIRSA Assembly