09.May.2012 Repost: Why Does Oregon State Lack Large Donors?

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Note: Database error caused me to lose this post. BeavGirl found it in Google's cache. Reposting for posterity and because there were a lot of good comments lost, and I'm hoping people rewrite 'em.

Oregon State alumni base consists of:

The founder U-Haul
Co-founder of E-trade
Co-founder of Classmates.com
Co-founder of Nvidia
Inventor of Leatherman tools
Former president and CEO of Hewlett-Packard

Here’s a more complete list: click me

And here’s a list of notable athletes: click me

There are many small, successful (i.e. multi-millionaire) businessmen who aren’t on the Wikipedia list, so it is far from definitive.

We’re stuck with Riley forever because “nobody wants to cut a check”, and OSU doesn’t have basketball (practice) facility because nobody will pony up (twittering Gary Payton??).

I know some higher end BASF members read this site. I freely admit I don’t understand or relate to the opulent lifestyle, but if I had that kind of cash I’d donate generously to the athletic department. So, my question is this: why does OSU seem to lack large donors (more so than other universities of this size)? Is it that the donors aren’t interested in athletics? Is it that the AD has rubbed people the wrong way? It is a combination of things? Is it something else entirely? Or perhaps I’m wrong all together and the amount in donations OSU receives falls within the realm of normal. But it seems like we’re always broke, never hear of large donations (since Al Reser’s passing), and the university is out of touch with past alums. And speaking of Al Reser–who received his estate, and are they still actively involved/donating to OSU?

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  • osu2008 says:
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    I think DeCarolis is part of it because he doesn’t have much (if any) charm, plus the people in the BASF are not very people-friendly either. I’m not a big donor, but I have never cared for the people in charge down there right now and a lot of it is their personality and fakeness. It requires a level of feel in fundraising and sales, and I can’t think of one person in the BASF or athletic administration who has those abilities.

    I’m in the college of business at OSU right now and the E-Trade guy has given generously to the COB before, but I don’t think he has ever been interested or contacted by OSU for an athletic donation. That’s also a lot of the problem is that a lot of those people haven’t been contacted or don’t care.

    As for Payton, that’s been a long saga. I don’t think he was happy with the way he was communicated to in the past (and I think he said that at a press conference he had at OSU before a men’s game this year) and he didn’t want to be a part of the fundraising efforts. He does like Robinson though and I hope he does come back for more games in the post-Cunningham era.

    • Jack says:
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      It’s interesting to hear how OSU fails to ask for money from the personal side for whatever reason. Their grant writing is superlative beyond any compare. Maybe that’s where they should look for their fundraising.

      As for Payton, his reasons were twofold. One was because of the Barnhart admin giving him the big ignore… though not as much as we normal people (or even Payton nowadays) would think is a big ignore. But the second was that he promised a large amount as a contingency on his upcoming free agency. He could have been a star getting star money at 28 different NBA clubs with a new contract.

      He chose one of the 4 clubs where he had to take a role player’s salary to keep his signing under the cap… in order to win a ring. It was a calculated risk for something he wanted personally. And that was never clearly conveyed to all who were (and still are) wondering whatever happened to that $3m Payton promised a decade ago.

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