Finding joy through giving back
Colleen and Joel McCloud struggled to pay for college back in the sixties. When they realized they were in a position to make a difference, they decided to fund scholarships for students with financial need.
“We wanted to help students get through without being up against tremendous loans,” says Colleen, who retired as executive vice president and creative media director at the renowned ad agency Foote, Cone & Belding. She earned her bachelor’s in speech in 1967.
Colleen says they felt inspired by the late Glenn Starlin, a favorite professor who had encouraged her to go into advertising.
“When they made him emeritus, he established a scholarship fund,” she says. “I thought, maybe Joel and I should try to do that.”
The McClouds met at a student dance in the EMU one Friday night. Both came from families that emphasized the value of education.
“We want to pass it on to future generations,” says Joel McCloud, who earned an MBA from the UO and went on to a career in real estate. “We can’t think of a better thing to do with our money than helping young people have the same opportunities we did.”
They’ve remained close to the UO over the years as volunteers, advocates, and ardent Ducks fans. They like to keep an eye out for ways to help, such as the gift they made to replace antiquated TV production equipment in Allen Hall.
“Anytime we make a donation, we are absolutely happy as all get-out to be able to do so,” Colleen says. “We share the feeling that our education is what helped us get to where we are today.”
Last spring, the pair took their giving to a new level. They issued a challenge grant with the aim of hooking others on the joy of philanthropy.
To their delight, it helped raise more than $300,000 for the School of Journalism and Communication during the annual “Ducks Give” campaign.
“We made the challenge in our mothers’ names because they were the most influential in terms of going to college, completing it, and finding good careers,” Colleen says. “We’ll continue to make challenge gifts.”
The next “Ducks Give” campaign will be on May 16, 2019.