McDougall was fired, he tells us, at age 50 after he lost the takeover battle. Starting a scholarship fund for OSU students with his CEO severance settlement helped him swallow that bitter pill, as well as his involvement on numerous community and corporate boards.
“Why do I give back to the community, the school, the people?” McDougall said. “Because seeing these actions actually changing people’s lives is so rewarding. It’s a rewarding experience, and I am grateful for it.”
McDougall and his wife, of all their philanthropic activities, find that funding students makes the most direct impact. “Think about something to support scholarships,” he said.
Following McDougall’s address, MBA student Kathleen Ryan, a recipient of the JD Powers Fellowship, spoke about her career and ambitions in the nonprofit sector. After more than ten years as the Executive Director for Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center 2005, Ryan recognized the value and prestige of an MBA. However, her choice to be a leader in the nonprofit sector put costs just out of reach.
In her address, Ryan joked about presenting balance sheets to her board during her early days of leaderships, and one board member remarking that “balance sheets are supposed to be balanced.”
The JD Powers Fellowship is marked for women leaders, and with the degree Ryan will continue her pursuit of her three life passions: conservation, leadership and mentorship.
“I know that I thrive as a leader, and this fellowship allows me to take my leadership skills to the next level,” Ryan said. “I have learned so much about running a business through trial and error, which is experiential education at its finest. But now I will also be able to build my academic foundation in core business fundamentals like finance and marketing. I am thrilled to be a student of OSU’s hybrid MBA program in Bend.”