Photo: Lori McDonnell


Senior Assistant Director


Where are you from?

Baltimore, Maryland

What do you enjoy most about working in FSC’s Office of Admissions?

I love working with families and guiding students through their college decision journey. It is exciting to see students progress from applying to starting on campus. Plus, I love how amazingly beautiful the Florida Southern campus is! Being right on Lake Hollingsworth, watching the water skiers, and partaking in the amazing community makes it feel like home every day.

Do you have a favorite spot on campus?

The balcony of Annie Pfeiffer Chapel, which overlooks the lake. It was FLW’s first building and it’s a great place to see all of campus! Or the tire swing on the President’s front lawn... makes you feel like you’re at home.

What's the best tradition or campus event at Florida Southern?

Swimming in the Water Dome as a senior—and after that, graduation.

Describe a perfect day in Lakeland.

Ohhh, Sundays are the best! We’d start with church at Trinity downtown, followed by a nice, unhealthy breakfast at the one and only Fat Jacks on South Florida—the best breakfast around. Then, we would throw on comfy clothes and head (cameras in hand) to Circle B Reserve. The walk around the reserve is full of gorgeous birds, sly alligators, beautiful butterflies, and other unique wildlife! After a great afternoon walk, we would go to Lakeside Village for dinner at Fish City Grill. (Brian, the owner there, does a fantastic job!) That would be followed by a make-your-own dessert at Yogurt Mountain…yum! We would end the night with the latest movie at Cobb Theaters.

Any favorite restaurants or hangouts in Lakeland?

In my book, you have a favorite for each meal of the day, so… Fat Jack’s takes the prize for breakfast. Hands down, they are the real deal! Fish City Grill is my favorite choice for lunch, and I recommend it to all who visit. (Go for the Crab Cake sandwich with a side of Old Bay Waffle Fries.) For dinner—or anytime, really—Palace Pizza is a great place to go with friends and split one of their amazingly-large White Pizza's and a side of garlic knots. End the day with Mitchell's for dessert: Coco-Cola Cake, enough said.


California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia

Music I Love

The Black Keys, Mumford & Sons, Madonna, Dave Matthews Band, The Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash, U2, Pearl Jam

Books I Love

The Kite Runner, Quiet Strength, Getting to Yes, The Giving Tree

Movies I Love

Braveheart, Anchorman, Old School, The Hangover, The Bodyguard, Boondock Saints, Step Brothers

Educational Background

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a dual major in Marketing and Financial Management and a minor in International Business from Florida Southern.

Favorite Quotes

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who will mind do not matter and those who matter will not mind" "Gym, tan, laundry." "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." "People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing—that's why we recommend it daily."

What about hobbies or outside interests?

Whether it is running, cycling, playing in a football league, doing yoga or rock-climbing, I like to stay active. I am a HUGE sports fan and am always up for going to the game—Go Colts! When I am not spending time with my friends and family, I love traveling, whipping up a delicious meal in the kitchen and volunteering with local philanthropic organizations.

Other interesting facts?

I eat a Reese's peanut butter cup every single day, usually before 11 a.m. I climbed a 15,000-ft. mountain when I was 18. I went to a Division I college on a soccer scholarship. Elizabeth Martin is my best friend—tied with my mom. My grandfather was the team physician for the Baltimore Colts and the Baltimore Orioles. I am a certified rock climbing instructor. And I secretly want to date Kevin Costner.

Lori McDonnell

Senior Assistant Director of Admissions
Phone 800.274.4131
Text 863.576.5098


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