Reared in a logging family in the Triangle Lake, Oregon area, Lloyd Powell '55 hoped to attend college but he did not have the means. Powell didn't know it at the time, but when Len Casanova offered him a football scholarship to come to the University of Oregon, a family tradition began that would continue through at least half a century and three generations of the Powell family.
After graduating from the UO's college of business Powell began his career with the Owens-Corning Fiberglass Corporation and later joined the Ernest W. Hahn Company where he became vice-president, owner and director with total responsibility for the multi-million dollar construction division. Then, returning to the Northwest, he created his own company that would encompass development, construction, and property management, specializing in shopping centers throughout the Pacific Northwest. Working with customers such as Fred Meyer and Safeway, Powell Development Company is also a preferred developer for Walgreens and has been instrumental in the construction of fifty-one Albertsons stores.
Today, the company's president is Powell's son Peter '77, also a graduate of the Lundquist College of Business. Peter even met his wife Molly '78 thanks in part to a business school professor at the college.
Remembering a professor who had inspired them and inadvertently brought them together, Peter and Molly Powell, like Lloyd, have been dedicated supporters of the Lundquist College and the University of Oregon.
"We received a well-rounded business education, and we were lucky to have teachers who acted as mentors. One who really inspired us was Austin Jaffe," said Molly.
"He didn't want you to just learn and regurgitate--he wanted you to know how and why things work," added Peter.
Jaffe left the business college 25 years ago for a position at Penn State University, but it was because of Jaffe's tough grading standards that Peter and Molly (then Molly Leahy) met as part of a study group, later married, and embarked on successful careers.
With their support, the Powells are ensuring that Lundquist faculty continues to mentor and inspire students as they were inspired.
"The UO business college is on the radar nationally, and we have to be able to compete with the bigger schools for top faculty," said Molly. "Having the right teachers is the key to success, not just for the students but for the school."
The Powells also gave $500,000 toward Powell Plaza, a new entryway to UO's Hayward Field. Peter's father Lloyd, who additionally contributed $500,000 to the plaza project, has given more than $2 million in combined gifts to the Lundquist College of Business and the UO Athletic Department.
This family of generous business-oriented Ducks includes Peter's brother Tom Powell and Peter and Molly's son Brendan '07. Expectations are certainly high for Brendan, but he has a pair of great role models to follow into the future.