A successful 26-year career, including 15 years as partner with global management consulting firm Accenture. Sixty countries visited. Thirty-four years of marriage and counting. Two grown daughters.
So what’s a third–generation Oregon son to do now?
For Jay Mohr ’76, the short answer is, “Give back.”
Mohr has been a long-time supporter and fan of the University of Oregon, but when he learned about the impact one major academic gift could make, “it got me interested in bigger and better things,” he said.
Bigger and better is an apt description. Mohr’s significant gift to the college has transformed our Career Services office, quite literally. Now located prominently on the first floor, Mohr Career Services boasts increased staffing, resources, and space for the important work of helping our students land their dream jobs.
Mohr said a principle of Stephen R. Covey, the author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” guided his decision to make a transformative gift in Career Services: Begin with the end in mind. Think about the end, and plan your course.
“The University of Oregon was in my blood from day one,” explained Mohr. In fact, he was born feet from campus at Sacred Heart Medical Center.
An “entrepreneurial kid,” selling everything from Little League chocolate bars to luggage tags to neighbors, business school “seemed like the natural path for me to go.”
Mohr pursued his interest in marketing at the UO business college and discovered he was pretty good at statistics and finance as well.
There were fewer lessons brought into the classroom direct from the working world “back in the day,” Mohr said.
“The business school has gotten much more sophisticated in terms of real-world experiences in and outside of the classroom,” Mohr noted. “When I was there, it was more, ‘read the book, listen to a lecture, and take the test.’ It was straightforward, but I enjoyed it. We had little input from guest speakers or visiting businesses.”
When he was a student, Mohr said, just getting through the courses was top of mind.
“I thought, ‘I’m going to get my degree in a month, now what am I going to do?’” He eventually found the university-wide career center, which was not the operation it is today.
“College-specific career services didn’t exist—it wasn’t part of the program, and no one talked about it,” he said.
Mohr ended up getting his job after a former professor recommended he contact Accenture. He sent a letter, “on paper, through the mail,” Mohr emphasized.
“I got an interview, and they made me an offer.”
Today’s job landscape can be a bit more complex, and Mohr is keen to help students navigate it successfully.
Being part of the transition from college student to career builder has long been a passion for Mohr. As a sideline to his Accenture position, twice a year he would go recruiting on college campuses.
“I talked to thousands of students in my day,” he said. “Accenture looked to the college campus as the primary source for our new employees. We would go to campus and identify the ‘cream of the crop’. We would interview them on campus, hire them into our company, and then train and develop them into skilled consultants.”
It was Dean Nutter’s clear vision of producing well-educated, career-ready graduates that connected the dots for him.
“Getting older in life, I’ve been fortunate to accumulate some assets, and it’s time to start giving back in a more significant way. Neither my wife Kim nor I had money growing up, so we scrimped and saved through college. So having a portion of our gift support scholarships is a must. With my background, making a gift to Career Services was a perfect match.”
While including the University of Oregon in one’s will is certainly an option, Mohr says there are many reasons why giving now made sense for him and his family.
“I was very focused on making a meaningful donation while I was still alive,” Mohr said. “I wanted to see the actual fruits of my donation. I wanted to see the results. That’s tough to do from the grave.”
He also wanted to have the opportunity to be involved on an ongoing basis with the Career Services function.
Although Jay and Kim have lived in Arizona for the past 36 years, they still feel a strong connection to Eugene and the university. They view this donation as a way to keep their family anchored in the University of Oregon community long into the future.
Finally, Jay didn’t want to burden their daughters Alison and Lauren with making decisions about estate giving when the time comes.
“People who have been fortunate should start thinking about sharing it,” Mohr said. “It feels great and can be structured in such a way that the donor sees the impact immediately. I’ve enjoyed the process and look forward to being a part of even more students’ career success.”