Liberty Bell Award




The Liberty Bell Award was established more than 40 years ago to acknowledge outstanding service performed by a non-lawyer citizen who has given time and energy to strengthen the effectiveness of the American system of freedom under law, in keeping with the spirit of our Constitution. It is awarded to someone who has promoted better understanding of the rule of law, encouraged greater respect for law and the courts, stimulated a sense of civic responsibility, or contributed to good government in the community. 




2018 Liberty Bell Award Recipient

We are pleased to announce that the 2018 Liberty Bell Award will be awarded to Alden J. McDonald, Jr., President and CEO of Liberty Bank & Trust Company.

Alden Joseph McDonald, Jr. is a quiet force in the New Orleans community who personifies each of these characteristics. 

A graduate of the LSU School of Banking and of Columbia University’s Commercial Banking Management Program, McDonald began his career at International City Bank in New Orleans in 1966, rising to the position of Vice President for Consumer Lending before he left to lead Liberty Bank and Trust Company where he has been since 1972. While in college, Mr. McDonald also joined Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and later attended Columbia University’s Commercial Banking Management Program.

Mr. McDonald’s work in the New Orleans community has earned him many accolades.  In 2001, McDonald received the prestigious Loving Cup award from New Orleans’ major newspaper, The Times-Picayune, which is considered the highest honor in the New Orleans Metropolitan Area.  In 2006, McDonald was named to Fortune Magazine’s highly regarded “Portraits of Power” list for 2006, extolling him for his powerful presence in the business community and his impact on the global market.

He has served as the chairman of the New Orleans Chamber of CommerceHe has served as the co-chair of the Greater New Orleans Education Foundation.  In 2004, he became the first chairman for Greater New Orleans, Inc., established for the economic development of the New Orleans region.

Mr. McDonald has been an active force in the New Orleans business community and has served on almost all well-known professional and social boards in the New Orleans region. As both a business leader and a community leader, he is well known for his devotion to community development through promoting entrepreneurship, supporting civic organizations and empowering both businesses and individuals.

What is less known, however, are his many charitable donations and support to advance causes related to civic responsibility and the encouragement all of those he both employs and mentors to be contributors to good government in the community.  Mr. McDonald, individually, along with his family, and through the efforts of Liberty Bank, has helped to support countless students in providing scholarships to students attending Tulane, Loyola, Southern, Xavier and LSU law schools.  Under his leadership, Liberty has endowed a scholarship through the Greater New Orleans Louis A. Martinet Society which is given out annually to an undergraduate pre-law student.  The McDonald and Ortique families have provided significant funding to Dillard University, which includes the creation of the Justice Revius O. Ortique Jr. Mock Trial Center, the annual Ortique Lecture on Law and Society, and the Ortique Scholarship program. 

Along with his wife Rhesa Ortique McDonald, he hosted the annual United Negro College Fund gala in New Orleans for two decades. The event, which benefits local HBCUs, has grown from a small celebration that netted about $10,000 a year for local UNCF schools to a yearly fete that raised about more $200,000 annually.  The McDonald and the Ortique families have been significant benefactors to the Amistad Research Center, most recently serving as one of the major sponsors for the 50th Anniversary celebration of Amistad and were responsible for the recent donation of Justice Revius Ortique’s papers to the Amistad Center for historical preservation.



To Submit a Nomination

Use the Online Nomination Form


  • upholds the rule of law
  • contributes to good government in the community
  • stimulates a sense of civic responsibility
  • encourages respect for the law and the courts


  • non-lawyer in the New Orleans area
  • persons holding or seeking elective office are ineligible
  • previous recipients are ineligible

Nominations Deadline

March 15th of each year (Nominations received after deadline will be considered for the following year’s award.) To submit a nomination, please email Helena Henderson or fax the nomination to (504) 525-6549. 

Previous Recipients

  • Alden J. McDonald, Jr.
  • Dr. Rudy Lombard
  • Ruby Bridges
  • Juan D. Barnes, Sr., NOPD
  • Theophile A. Duroncelet
  • Col. Terry J. Ebbert, USMC (Ret.)
  • Maureen J. Goodly, CASA
  • H. Eustis Reily
  • Maria Yiannopoulos, LCLCE
  • Rachel Piercey, NOPBP
  • Stella Baty Landis
  • Anthony Gagliano
  • Cecil J. Murphy, Jr
  • Norm Rubenstein
  • Dr. Carole Chance
  • Emily S. Benjamin

Submit a nomination

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