OAK BROOK, IL--(Marketwire - April 5, 2011) - McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD) today kicked off a year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of Hamburger University (HU), its signature training and education facility. 

In 1961, HU began in a McDonald's restaurant basement in Elk Grove Village, Ill. with 15 graduates in the first class. In the five decades since, HU has grown into a world-class global center of excellence to develop and train employees and establish consistent restaurant standards around the globe. To date, more than 275,000 McDonald's franchisees, employees and suppliers have graduated from HU worldwide.

In 1983, McDonald's opened a $40 million Global HU campus in Oak Brook. In addition to the Oak Brook HU, there are six international campuses, including: Tokyo (1971), London (1981), Sydney (1989), Munich (1982), São Paolo (1996) and Shanghai (2010). Hamburger Universities have 64 full-time global college professors on staff, and the ability to teach in 28 languages at our Oak Brook HU.

"Our people are the foundation of what we do in the restaurant," said Jim Skinner, McDonald's Chief Executive Officer. "Their talent and passion drive our business, and we are committed to fostering their growth and success."

"Hamburger University is an investment in our future where we challenge highly motivated, dedicated people and provide them with training and experience," said Fred Turner, McDonald's Honorary Chairman. "Lifelong learning is a goal for some, but it's a way of life at McDonald's."

Today, the Fred L. Turner Training Center at HU is a 130,000-square foot facility on an 80-acre campus located at McDonald's Corporate Offices in Oak Brook. The building features a 300-seat auditorium, interactive classrooms, kitchen labs, and state-of-the-art service training labs.

"At Hamburger University, we understand the changing landscape of how our students around the world learn," said Chris Lyons, McDonald's Vice President for Worldwide Training, Learning and Development. "We empower them with the skills and development they need to have a rewarding career."

HU offers restaurant manager curriculum, a mid-management leadership curriculum, and programs for executive development. In 1996, McDonald's launched its Leadership Institute, which supports the company's goal to develop a deep bench of talent around the world. 

"Hamburger University continues to be the global center of excellence for training at McDonald's," said Maureen Getcliffe, Dean of McDonald's U.S. Hamburger University. "My staff uses the latest technology and training methods within our classes to influence the careers of franchisees, field staff and restaurant management."

McDonald's is the only active Quick Service Restaurant to receive college credit recommendations from the American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT), the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions. ACE has reviewed 100 percent of the restaurant management and mid-management curriculum for college credit -- a total of 50 credit recommendations.

The average restaurant manager has completed the equivalent of approximately 21 credit hours -- one semester of college -- that can be transferred to many colleges and universities (both private and public) and applied toward a two or four year degree. In seven other countries, students also can receive some form of college credit recommendations.

McDonald's is the world's leading global foodservice retailer with more than 32,000 locations serving approximately 64 million customers in 117 countries each day. More than 80% of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local men and women. To learn more about the company, please visit www.aboutmcdonalds.com and follow us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/mcdonaldscorp) and Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/mcdonaldscorp).

© 2011 McDonald's

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