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GMercyU Alum Donald Hooton at Yankee Stadium

Meet Donald Hooton

Business Administration, 2004

"I had just about all of my professors' phone numbers in case I needed anything at any time. GMercyU truly cares about its students outside of education, and it’s because of GMercyU that I have always done so well."

"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of lives." - Genesis 50:20

Donald Hooton’s pastor read this Bible verse within hours of his brother’s passing and to this day, it is the inspiration behind what he does every day as the Vice President of Education Programs for the Taylor Hooton Foundation. 

The Taylor Hooton Foundation (THF) was formed in the memory of Taylor E. Hooton, a 17-year-old high school athlete from Plano, Texas, who took his own life on July 15, 2003 after using anabolic steroids. After realizing how prevalent the abuse of performance-enhancing drugs is among our nation’s youth, Taylor's parents, family and friends founded the organization in hopes of educating young people and their influencers about the dangers of these powerful drugs.

Donald, a student-athlete himself, grew up playing baseball across the United States and settled in Pennsylvania long enough to attend Wissahickon High School, where he played summer baseball under Gwynedd Mercy University’s current coach, Paul Murphy.

Hooton went on to study and play baseball at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the University of Texas at Arlington, but he made his way to GMercyU to study business administration and reunite with his high school coach. 

"If it weren’t for Gwynedd Mercy, I probably wouldn’t have graduated college," Donald said, who lost his brother the summer before his senior year. "GMercyU made the hardest time in my life the smoothest that it could be. The school bent over backwards for me, putting me first.” 

As Vice President of Education Programs, it is Donald's responsibility to spread the message of the Taylor Hooton Foundation by visiting schools across North America. Through the Foundation's education program, Hoot's Chalk Talk, Donald shares his personal story in hope that it will resonate and perhaps save someone's life.