Meet Marcus McDonald ‘19, a Finance graduate who has used his degree to transform the Charleston community.

Prior to graduation, McDonald served as the Vice President of the Microfinance club where he learned the importance of networking, negotiation, and effective change-making. The club taught him that financial knowledge can produce great change, and with that, he decided that post-graduation he would use his skills to be a change-maker.

Post graduation, McDonald began his professional career as a commodity trader, and although he valued the position, he didn’t feel as though he was fulfilling his purpose. He decided to take a leap of faith and left his corporate position to work in the non-profit sector at the Eastside Community Development Corporation (ECDC).

ECDC is a community-based organization that acts as a liaison between the community and city officials to build a sustainable future where McDonald’s career flourishes. He developed an education program that provided students with tutoring and technical support during the pandemic as well as provided financial literacy classes and created city planning proposals to influence equitable change.

Outside of serving at ECDC, McDonald is the lead organizer for the Black Lives Matter movement in Charleston. As the lead organizer, he spends a lot of time speaking with elected officials discussing bills and legislation, as well as seeking resources for the community. Throughout his leadership, he has realized that many of the analytical skills and understanding he attained while at the School of Business transfer into his everyday work. As politics are run by money, his knowledge of understanding how markets work and how money is distributed gives him a clear view of what is needed to move a city/community forward.

He has also spoken to colleges around the world to promote student activism at universities such as Harvard, Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis, University of South Carolina Law, Coastal Carolina University, and even back here in Charleston at his alma mater.

When McDonald has a break from saving the world, he invests time in an artist management company, Adesso Entertainment. The company was founded in 2019 with the purpose to promote new and upcoming artists. Here is where he promotes art, music, and fashion within the Charleston community. McDonald has been playing trombone for over a decade and enjoys playing during sunset.