The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Darry Callahan Oral History Interview

August 6, 2015 – 1:00p.m.

Video: “Lessons Learned from a Lifetime in Industry” . August 6, 2015

Location: Valley Library, Oregon State University.
Interviewer:  Mike Dicianna

1:34:38 - Abstract | Biography | Download Transcript (PDF)


Mike Dicianna: Today is Thursday August 6th, 2015, and we have the distinct honor to capture the story of a member of the class of 1964, Darald W. "Darry" Callahan. We're in the OSU Valley Library, Wilson Room. My name is Mike Dicianna, I'm an oral historian with the OSU Sesquicentennial Oral History Project.

We always like to start with a short biographical sketch of our Beavers – items like when and where you were born, your early childhood and family.

Darry Callahan: OK. I was born in Wisconsin in 1942 and I was an only child. Neither of my parents went to college at all – my dad finished high school and my mother didn't even finish high school. She had gone to a German-speaking school. My dad, shortly after I was born, went into the Navy and served on-board a ship in the Pacific during World War II. My grandfather, who I guess was old enough not to be drafted, came out west and worked on a number of projects. He worked on the Alcan Highway between Canada and Alaska, he worked on the Hanford Nuclear Site, and he worked for a place in eastern Oregon called the Mount Emily Camp Logging Show.

So I guess he came back to Wisconsin full of stories about all of the work that was available in the west. And as soon as my dad got out of the service in 1945, we all climbed in the old jalopy and we came west. We first settled near Crescent. We built – or my parents built, I was too young to help – we built a cabin out of slabs, the bark cut of logs. And we had no running water, we had no power. We were out in the jack pine, I think we were probably squatting on some land that the Gyppo Logging – is "gyppo" politically correct? The Gyppo Logging Company owned the land and probably gave them permission to build.

So that went on for a while and then Gilchrist had opened up about that time; a company logging and mill town there near Crescent. And so my dad got a job in the mill and that meant we could move to Gilchrist housing, and I went to the first grade in Gilchrist. The company owned the school, they owned a church, they owned a supermarket, they owned the houses, they owned the place where the state policemen stayed. And a wonderful place in those days – still is actually, although not a company town any longer.

Then in the winter of '48-'49, there was a really really heavy snowfall, and my family said, "look, we left Wisconsin to get out of this doggone snow," so we moved west of the Cascades near Roseburg. My grandfather logged with horses, my dad continued mill work, and there we were for a number of years. And then finally my dad left mill work and he did a wide number of things. He worked for a logging supply place, he was a deputy sheriff, he was a wholesale distributor of produce, he worked for the county water resources board. He eventually became a distributor for Chevron, and as we go on with this story, you'll find that I spent my career with Chevron. My mother also worked in those days. She clerked in stores and she worked for the county clerk's office in Roseburg, Douglas County.

So that's kind of a short history and we can go onto high school years, you'd like.

MD: You went, all throughout the school system after first grade, in the Roseburg schools?

DC: Well, actually not. I went to the second through fourth grade in Myrtle Creek, which is twenty miles or so south. And they built a new school then in Tri-City, so I went to the fifth and half of the sixth grade in Tri-City. And then we moved to Roseburg and I went then to Roseburg schools.


MD: Every generation has that significant memory that sticks with them, like Pearl Harbor or the JFK assassination. Being from the Roseburg area, you have a unique event that qualifies, that actually Geoff [Somnitz] suggested. In August of 1959 the Roseburg Blast occurred, and that was where a truck loaded with fertilizer exploded, basically levelling the entire downtown. Were you in the area at that time and is that a memory that you have?

DC: Yeah, it is. We were living – let's see, the summer before my senior year in high school – we were living about five miles out Garden Valley. Actually, speaking of Geoff, it's out toward Umpqua where Geoff grew up. So we didn't hear the blast, but my dad was a deputy sheriff then, so we got a phone call in the middle of the night calling him in to help direct traffic and deal with all the issues. It was a big big deal, although leveling all of downtown is pretty much an overstatement. It pretty much completely leveled four to six square blocks and then damaged buildings further out. But yeah, it was a big deal – a whole truck full of ammonium nitrate. I don't think they ever figured out exactly what happened. They theorized a fire in the truck and they probably had some blasting caps or something.

MD: Being a high school kid, did they mobilize-

DC: No, no. The police force, sheriff's department, and city police were able to deal with it. I don't think they even called up National Guard.

MD: But that's one of those events that is kind of unique to the Umpqua Valley.

DC: It is. Most people still remember. I have a pictorial history of Roseburg, and they devote several pages to that.

MD: Well let's talk about your high school days. What are your significant recollections of activities and how were your studies?

DC: Well, I went to Roseburg High School of course; I think we may or may not have said that. I guess first of all, about that time, people started talking to me about college. I was doing pretty well in school and so they were talking to me about college. So it became a pretty big deal for me to work summers, weekends and holidays, because my parents didn't have very much money, they couldn't afford to send me. So a lot of my time during high school years was spent working. I worked in the hay fields, I pulled chokers, I was a chain man for a survey crew. I think the most interesting job I had in those years was working for the cemetery. So I mowed lawns, I set irrigation pipe and, yes, I dug graves. On the cemetery proper in Roseburg we had a backhoe of course, and that wasn't so bad. But we also handled burials in the surrounding cemeteries and those, for most part, you had to hand dig. So we had a gasoline-powered jackhammer when we ran into rocks; that thing must have weighed a hundred pounds at least. And that was my job, to run the jackhammer. Fifty cents an hour I got for that job.

MD: And it all added up to some tuition.

DC: All added up to help pay for my college. But back to high school proper, I enjoyed going to the varsity games, I worked a lot on the class projects, like homecoming. We did a lot of money raising projects to help pay for all these class activities. One of the interesting ones was I washed Roseburg Lumber's log trucks and it's kind of funny – a little off-timing here with this story – but Ken Ford, who is the CEO of Roseburg Wood Products now, his dad was running Roseburg Lumber in those days. And he's on the Board of Trustees for the University of Oregon. So Ed Ray says to me, "do you know Ken Ford?" And I said, "no, I know who he is, but I never knew him because he went away to private school and I washed his daddy's log trucks." [laughs]


MD: You said you were preparing for college, did you have a scientific mind from the beginning? Is that where you were heading?

DC: Well, yeah. My classwork was heavily college prep-oriented; I took the most advanced science and math and English that they offered, which all paid off when I came to college. But at the time, other than knowing that I kind of enjoyed it, I hadn't really focused on what I was going to do with it yet. But as we got closer to graduation, the counselors and teachers started telling me, "you're good in science and math, you ought to think about engineering." And there weren't very many people in Roseburg in those days who were college educated, and far fewer were engineers. So I didn't really know what engineers did, but it sounded like a pretty good deal, especially when I learned what starting salaries looked like.

MD: What influenced your decision to go to Oregon State? Did you look at any other schools?

DC: I did. I looked at others, but knowing that I wanted to focus on engineering – and chemical engineering specifically, because I enjoyed chemistry – I looked at Oregon State, I looked at OTI, which offered engineering although really not of the same caliber. And frankly, I couldn't afford to go anywhere else other than a state-supported school. So Oregon State it was, pretty much from the beginning.

MD: You were at Oregon State University from 1960 through 1964, and you have the distinction of entering Oregon State College and graduating from Oregon State University, because we changed in March of '61 to an actual university when Hatfield signed the Senate bill. Was there a big celebration on campus when that happened? Or did it just kind of happen?

DC: I think there probably was, but I was too busy to worry about it very much. It was pretty much a non-event for me, but the matchbooks changed from OSC to OSU and that was about it. But speaking of entering college, tuition in those days was around $100 a term, so with my savings, summer jobs, and scholarships, I just managed to be able to afford to come here. And of course it was a big deal. I was thinking of myself as a bit of a hotshot coming out of high school because I found it relatively easy and I did pretty well. So coming to Oregon State was a real eye-opener because I suddenly discovered that everybody here was a smart kid. So that was one of my first humbling experiences.

I went into Waldo Hall, which even in those days was pretty old – I think it was built in like 1907, so in the '60s it was already fifty-plus years old. The room that I had was a five-man room, so we had five people in one room. We stacked three bunks three high and two bunks to high, we had room then to each have our desk and a little bit of adjoining space. And it was tough for me at first; I was lonely. And fortunately there were a number of other kids here from Roseburg High, so I had some friends and, of course, quickly made others, and it made it all come together. I certainly learned then, and tell everybody I talk to as a high school student, get involved in something so that you do make some friends early one. I think it makes a big difference.

So in Waldo, I later, in my sophomore year, became involved in student government in Waldo. So I was in the dorm government system, and that was kind of fun and I learned quite a bit there. I played intramural basketball for the dorm and it was really kind of funny, as I recall, thirty points was a high scoring game. And I was not real tall, I was the same size I am now, but I usually wound up scoring about half the points. I don't know where those other bozos came from. [laughs]


The college experience was wonderful. I think I learned more outside class almost, than I did in. I met people, became friends with people from all over the world. So it was a real diversity experience. Roseburg in those days was a pretty much blue-collar white community, so meeting other nationalities and other races was really good for me. And it served me well through my whole corporate career when I became involved all over the world. So that was super.

I used to, on Saturdays, go over to the Men's Gym and play pick-up basketball. That was kind of my little bit of time off and exercise. And I played with quite a few guys from the football team, so there were games that were really rough and you would get beat up. It was a lot of fun and I made some good friends that way too. The other Men's Gym story, which is interesting from a historical perspective, I think, is that there's a pool down in the lower level in the Men's Gym. In those days, it was nude swimming – men only, of course. And God, the water was freezing cold, the air was freezing cold, so you didn't stay in very long. You got your exercise, popped out, and got into a hot shower. I don't know when they changed, but it was sort of an unusual thing.

Across the way from Waldo was Snell, so Waldo was all men, Snell was all women, and then we shared a dining hall. But that, for whatever reason, turned out to be fairly segregated – the women ate on the women's side for the most part, on the Snell side, men ate for the most part on the Waldo side. There was a little bit of guys and girls pairing up, but for the most part it was separate, which is sort of strange.

MD: Yeah, you'd think it would be a big meat market.

DC: Yeah, exactly. Of course, the women's hall in those days had curfews. I think women had to be back by – during the week – ten o'clock at night. Doors got locked and if they showed up late they'd have to pound on the door and the house mother would have to let them in, and then they'd be on report.

Chemical engineering, first of all I had to get through in four years, I couldn't afford to go longer than that. So I carried a heavy load, eighteen hours a term. And often we would have to have labs on Saturday morning, because we couldn't get it scheduled with the Chemistry department any other way. I remember that in one of the freshman classes in Gleeson – which was almost brand new then, it was only like a couple years old – the professor said to us, "look to your right, look to your left, only one of you will be here to graduate." And I sort of said to myself, "I'm going to be one of those." Fortunately, I was.

We used slide rules to do calculations; I don't think freshmen even learn how to use one today. The labs had calculators, but they were manual crank calculators – you would turn the crank until it went "ding," and then you would manually flip the carriage over and do it all over again. We had a small computer, so along the way learned FORTRAN programming, key punch cards to make it work.

MD: You put your cards in and hope that what comes out-

DC: -yeah, makes any kind of sense. I remember graph paper was expensive – ten cents a sheet as I recall. So I had a reputation of being able to put more stuff on a sheet of graph paper than anybody in the class. I had a manual portable typewriter that I had to type all my lab reports on.

So that was kind of the early days. Along the way, I met my wife-to-be in Roseburg; she was up from California to stay with her sister while her sister was having a baby. My wife wife-to-be took care of my sister's kids. So halfway through my junior year we finally decided, "well, let's get married. This you being in California and me being in Oregon doesn't work all that well."


So we – well, I had to start trying to find a place to live, and in the middle of the school year, that is virtually impossible. And I was in the Housing Office twice a week saying, "please, please, please, isn't there something?" And finally they found the foreign student advisor, who was going on a sabbatical to Ethiopia I think, somewhere in Africa. And she consented to rent us her house – it's a beautiful house still standing on Jefferson and 9th. But part of the deal – I couldn't afford very much, as I already said, thirty-five bucks a month, she agreed to charge us. But part of the deal is my wife had to clean the rooms of the three students she rented to on the upper floor. But we made it just fine.

Just before we were married, I went out to mail a letter to Betty and the wind was just howling, it just practically blew me down. But I made it to the mailbox and got back to the apartment – I was living in an apartment then. And looking out the window, all the sudden a tree blew over – this was on 6th street. And that was the Columbus Day Storm that pretty much wiped out all the trees in the MU quad; that's why there are no trees there today.

I didn't have a car until I got married, so I tried to get home kind of middle of the term, every term. I hitchhiked to Roseburg in the rain and all of that. But after we got married, we had a '55 Ford convertible, and you might have thought I was kind of a smart guy until you have a '55 Ford convertible in Oregon. And I, of course, couldn't afford gas, so it pretty much sat outside in the rain all the time. And eventually the top soaked through and the next time we got out to get into the car, there were mushrooms growing on the floor mats.

I rode to campus on my bike, and in those days there were no fancy weather-resistant clothes like we have today, so I would get soaking wet, back and forth, going to class. And speaking of clothes, they had, for men, two-year compulsory ROTC in those days. I joined the Air Force because planes are kind of neat and I wanted to learn a little bit more about them. And that was ok, but we had, also, a drill. So we had these heavy cast-off wool uniforms, and drill was always at the Coliseum. And, of course, engineers hung out kind of right on Monroe. So I'd have lunch, I'd go down to the Coliseum, drill, rush like heck to get back to Engineering Row, and then sit there with a full tummy and hot and sweaty – I snoozed through a few classes.

MD: So you only did two years-

DC: -it was only two. You had to do it and I didn't go on to do more.

MD: So as a chemical engineering major, do you have any special classes that you really got something out of? Or how about professors, like Gleeson?

DC: Gleeson was actually, by then, had retired as – I think he that was Jensen, I guess. Gleeson was still dean in those days. I didn't know him very much; there were deans there who were quite a bit up there.

MD: Yeah, you didn't want to be in the Dean's Office.

DC: He did invite us to his house for dinner one time, Betty and I, and that was quite an experience. I thought, "oh man, am I in trouble? Or was is this all about?" But it was just a nice social thing that he did.

Yeah, I think every ChemE's favorite all-time professor was Charlie Wicks. A great, great teacher. He knew how to make complex things simple using every day examples, and he was just a great guy. I used to see him, up until he died, periodically, just to keep in touch. We all loved the guy. Bob Mrazek was another guy that was a good guy.


Our ChemE class that graduated was about twenty, all men. There were very few women in engineering in those days. So we got to be pretty good friends with a lot of the professors, and you knew one another reasonably well. Charlie – I used to study a lot with one of the other ChemE's who is still a good friend – and Charlie would always write on our homework papers, "I see you've been studying together and drinking beer again."

MD: So you were living as an independent basically, off campus, because that's reflected in the yearbooks. Were you involved with campus life at all? Social activities, sporting events? Even though you were busy?

DC: Sure. That's one of the neat things about Oregon State is its kind of its own community. Before I was married, we'd always go to varsity basketball and football games – Terry Baker was the quarterback then and also played on the basketball team. Mel Counts, who played against Roseburg – he played for Marshfield – so I knew Mel a little bit. Jim Jarvis went to Roseburg, he was a year behind me, so I knew Jim pretty well. So those were all really fun.

Parker Stadium in those days was so different from Reser. It had an earthen berm that you kind of walked up stairs to get to the top, and then on the inside, the seats just went down the side of this earthen berm. I don't remember how many people it held, probably not over 20,000, I don't think. And, of course, a turf field, so football games tended to be mud bowls, especially later in the winter.

The MU had movies on the weekends that were dirt cheap or free. They had dances. So there was lots to do around campus. Oh, I forgot a freshman story. In those days, men had to wear a rook lid, this little beanie cap with a little deal – we all hated the darn thing. And we were supposed to wear it whenever we were outside, and whenever you could you would sort of not bother, because it was kind of hard for an upper-classman to tell that you were a freshman. But we all hated the thing and, I don't know, after a few weeks of that, we got to have a big bonfire and all the rook lids went in.

MD: Yeah, the campus traditions at the time were so rich compared to what they are now. The rooks were not allowed to walk on the grass or wear cords. Was that still in force? It used to be that they could not wear corduroy pants.

DC: I don't remember, I didn't wear cords anyway. I wore mostly white Levi's, which cost me all of five bucks a pair. And in Waldo, there were washers but there were no dryers. Instead they had this big room that was a warm room. So you hung your wet clothes up in the warm room until they got dry. And I had these metal stretchers that I could shove down the legs of the white Levi's, and then pull it taught at the top and the bottom, and it would automatically have a seam.

MD: You'd press your pants.

DC: Press my pants. My ROTC uniform, the shirt that you wore under the blouse, I was lazy so I would only iron the front that showed. And one day, the corps cadet captain says, "unbutton your blouse!" And, of course, there were all wrinkles over the sides, so I got demerits, I was standing in the Coliseum cleaning rifles.

MD: When the Heisman was given to Terry Baker, the campus must have erupted with that.

DC: Oh my, that was a pretty big deal. I think that was the first Heisman west of the Mississippi, so that was a really big thing. Unfortunately, he never did all that well with the Rams, which was a disappointment.

MD: Yeah, well he told me that he was more interested in getting his law degree. We interviewed him.

DC: That's probably his story. The truth is that his passes got kind of high and floaty, and they worked in college but in the pros it wasn't quite good enough.


A couple more stories about married life. Betty took some classes while she was here, but mostly she worked. One of the things that she did was type the manuscript for The Oregon Desert, which Jackman and Long wrote, and so she knew both Jackman and – I can't remember his first name – but I remember Reub Long pretty well. He had a big ranch out where I went to the first grade, close to the Fort Rock area. And he's buried there. He was quite a colorful character. But I still have her PHT degree – "Putting Hubby Through."

MD: Yeah, my wife has got one of those actually. So you graduated with the class of 1964, so your story with the turbulent 1960s is kind of prior to when everything erupted with Vietnam and things like that. So Vietnam was just on the horizon when you guys were going through ROTC and school. Did you get a sense towards the end of – during your senior year – that times were changing?

DC: Oh sure, I mean the big worry is "am I gonna get drafted?" So that was the biggest concern. I never, in college, had a deferment, but fortunately the draft wasn't blowing and going, so it was ok. A couple other stories – well, to finish that one; the campus also wasn't yet going like Berkeley ultimately did a few years later with the Free Speech Movement and all of that, the anti-war movements. Until I graduated, we were all pretty much in the old era of, "we support the government, the government supports us."

MD: Very conservative.

DC: Yeah, exactly. In my senior year – well, actually in my junior year – immediately on getting married, it seemed to do good things for me. I started getting 4.0's and I was invited to join Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honorary – I became president my senior year. And I joined Phi Kappa Phi, which was Oregon State's version of Phi Beta Kappa, I guess. And I was active in the student chapter of the AICHe, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

Two more stories, I guess...well, maybe only one. In the summer before my senior year, I went through the interview process. Companies would come on campus to interview graduates – graduating seniors or graduate students – but they also, some of them would advertise for summer jobs. So I went through that process and interviewed for a summer job, and I would up getting a job with Chevron in the southern California refinery, El Segundo. So Betty and I packed up our '55 Ford convertible – it took us a long time before we ever owned enough stuff we couldn't move by putting it all in the car.

So off we went to L.A., and I was sort of a naïve Oregonian – I figured freeways down there are like the freeways here, you drive along and pretty soon an exit says "El Segundo," and off you go. We got into the L.A. Basin in the middle of the night and we got lost almost immediately, because every street is named for the exit, not the town. And so we finally said, "I don't know where we are, let's just get off the freeway." So we got off the freeway and found a motel. The motel guy kind of looked at us funny and said, "are you sure you should be here?" And I said, "why not? We're tired and we need a room." So he gave us a room and we spent the night. The next morning it turned out we were in downtown Watts, which was an all-black and pretty poor community that, in 1964, it was not kosher to be there as a white person, particularly after dark. But in the daylight we managed to find El Segundo.


We rented a relatively cheap apartment – remember I don't have any money – so our apartment was as close to LAX as you could possibly get, and we got used to hearing jets take off and land. But it was also fairly close to work, and Betty got a secretarial job that summer too, so we had a double-dip on work.

MD: Yeah, so you're making the big bucks.

DC: Big bucks, yeah. And another event happened in the fall of my senior year, talking about memorable events. I was off to an engineering class and the professor said, "you guys all go home, class is cancelled. Kennedy was just shot." So classes were cancelled that day and everybody went home and listened to the radio; a very sad memorable event.

My job in L.A. with Chevron that summer was as a refinery engineer, which was a really fun job and, again, I learned a lot. And made pretty good money – they were paying me about a hundred bucks less than they would have paid a graduate engineer per month, so that was pretty good money. Then when I completed my senior year, I went through that same interview process again and wound up taking a job with Chevron in Chevron Research in Richmond, California. And that job, I got the princely sum of $650 a month, and that was a lot of money for me, just a lot of money.

MD: Yeah and you're a new graduate and starry-eyed and heading off into the working world. You just basically landed your entire career starting out right with Chevron.

DC: I did and I was fortunate with that, I think. I like to tell kids today that are close to graduation, when you think about getting a job, there are two ways to do it. If you work for a big company like I did, you can change your career pretty much every few years, do something completely different, and still be in the same company. Which is what I chose to do; I spent nearly forty years with Chevron. But a lot of people, particularly in high-tech these days, they change companies every few years. And which is better? I'm not sure one is better than the other.

Another thing I like to tell young engineers, because I experienced it in my own career – and I'll talk about my own career in a second – but I'm not sure whether it's the way engineer-to-be's brains are wired to begin with or if it's the education we get, I suspect it's some of each, but engineers love to figure out how things work. Take them apart, see if you can make them better. And that mentality works in lots of stuff other than engineering. It works in anything you try to do. So I think engineers, maybe, are particularly well-suited to work in management, to work in finance, to work in business areas, because we have that kind of framework for thinking.

I think I got that originally back in my early days hanging out with loggers. I loved to tag along going to the mill or the woods, people were always tinkering with something to make it work in those days. So I learned a lot just by watching the guys do stuff, and it kind of got me interested in it. I remember before I started school, I would get a wrench out of my dad's toolbox and go out – there was always some old equipment laying around – and I'd go out and start trying to turn the nuts and bolts and look what the thing did and how it worked.

MD: So your early days at Chevron, like in the 1970s, that was a lot of research and you're into the chemical end of it versus the gasoline end of it?

DC: No, no. I started out – it's actually still in the '60s – I worked at Chevron Research. I started out in process design, so I was designing the process side of refinery plants, gas-processing plants. And I liked it and I found my Oregon State degree really set me up well. I was able to hit the ground running when two-thirds, three-quarters of the other guys that came at the same time, they were still trying to figure out what was going on. And that served me pretty well, because when you can hit the ground running, your boss says, "well, maybe this guy has something on the ball."


But after about five-and-a-half, six years of that, I sort of told my boss, "you know, I think I've kind of learned how to do engineering, and I'd like to try finance." And pretty quickly, they found me a job as a financial analyst, and that was another one of those humbling experiences. Here I was, a bright-eyed bushy-tailed engineer who thought he knew how to do everything, and all the sudden they're talking all these strange terms. I'd never had a financial class, I didn't know how to do a balance sheet or a PNL, I didn't know who to go ask to find numbers that I needed. It was a pretty steep learning curve for a while but also, again, kind of fun. That's why I told you the story about engineers' mentality, because it worked in finance too.

And after a while in finance – it was domestic U.S. operations – I sort of said, "well, I kind of know how the refineries and the gas processing end runs, I know the economics for the U.S., I'd like to try something international." So they offered me a job, which I took, in foreign operations staff. And in those days, everything Chevron did internationally, the staff was kind of the gophers for the corporate executives who were responsible. Fascinating work.

Just one story about those days. Chevron discovered oil in Saudi Arabia in the '30s, and the king wanted more money – we weren't producing oil fast enough, because he got one gold sovereign for every barrel of oil. So he was putting a lot of heat on Chevron, so finally we cut Texaco in for half. So that was the beginning of Aramco, the Arabian American Oil Company – Chevron half, Texaco half. The king got hungry again, so we cut in Exxon and Mobil – Exxon got a full share and Mobil got, I guess it was ten percent, so it was thirty, thirty, ten. So the Arabian American Oil Company then did business for many many years until, in the 1970s, the U.S. finally became short of oil and became incrementally dependent upon, pretty much, the Middle East. And it didn't take the Saudis long to figure that out, so they said, "you know what? We own this oil, we want to own the company that produces it." So I was on the scene from the time the U.S. owned all until we had cut a deal for the eventual takeover by the Saudis, which occurred fairly quickly. But I was in negotiating sessions with the oil minister for Saudi Arabia and worked one-on-one with his staff – the Petroleum Ministry head whose name is Tahir, and others. Fascinating times.

MD: You were travelling back and forth?

DC: Not to Saudi so much, but back and forth to Europe. Saudis like to get out of Saudi Arabia, so they like Geneva and they like Florida actually, I spent some time in Panama City. But yeah, a lot of trips. When we still owned the whole company they were sending – well, the five-year budget was $20 billion, billion with a "B." And so we would, each company, got three sets of budget books, and each set was several volumes. So my boss, the corporate V.P., would get all these books and he would look at me and he would shove them across the table and say, "here." So one of my jobs was to lug all those damn books back.

So that was into the '70s now. Back to Vietnam briefly, I did go through a little bit of a scary moment towards the end of Vietnam. At the beginning, since I was working on refinery processes, the government felt that that was critical, so I had an occupational deferment. But toward the end they took that away, and so I went through maybe a year of being a little bit dicey. By then we had kids and, of course, was married, and not real old but getting older. It was a little scary, but never happened.


MD: What was your draft number?

DC: I don't remember. Obviously not high enough to come up.

MD: Yeah [unintelligible], his was twenty-six.

DC: Oh, that's scary.

MD: Yeah, that was scary.

DC: Well let's see, going on with this career story. I guess I should say that while I was still at CRC, I went to the master's program at Berkeley and took some classes, but soon found that, number one, I didn't have time when you're working twenty percent overtime with CRC. And number two, I was beginning to think I really didn't want to have engineering as a career and I was looking for some of these other things. So I didn't finish that degree.

After foreign staff, I became president of Chevron Oil Bahamas, which was my first managerial job. We had a largely Bahamian staff and I think it was the fifth largest refinery in the world in those days, a very simple refinery. It was built to process Libyan crude to make low-sulfur fuel oil to supply the U.S. East Coast, so all it really did was separate crude oil, it didn't make gasoline or anything very fancy. But unfortunately the rules changed and it didn't become economic to take low-sulfur fuel oil on the U.S. East Coast. So we were kind of limping along; most of the time we only ran one of three crude units. But a fascinating place to live. I knew the Prime Minister, I knew ministers of state, I had a fun job with lots of things going on.

MD: And living in the Bahamas.

DC: Well, that was a mixed bag. Betty had to put up with the down side, because it's a pretty poor Third World country, and so she had to go to the supermarket and put up with getting hassled and all that stuff. But all in all, it's a great experience. Our kids went to a private school and they learned a lot too. So yeah, it was a great experience. One day I was sitting in my office in Freeport... One other story about Grand Bahama Island. It was pretty much a desolate place, had a few people living on it, until independence in the '60s – independence from Britain. And then a company came in to try to develop the island – the idea was to put in lots of fancy houses and it would become kind of a resorty kind of place, they'd build casinos and hotels. But up until that time, these people had nothing mechanical. They had few cars, few boats, and they tried to educate that workforce to run a refinery. It was a bit of a challenge. We did it, and of course the government insisted on it – they wanted to make sure that we had all the Bahamians working that we could possibly do, so getting a work permit as an ex-pat was always problematic. But anyway, that was a pretty exciting time.

After the Bahamas – you want me keep going?

MD: Yeah, go for it. I've got notes but you're the one that lived it. [laughs]

DC: I came back to domestic marketing, U.S. marketing, and I had a number of jobs there: Pricing and Valuation, manager of Commercial and Industrial, and general manager of Marketing Operations. They were all very different. I think my experience through my dad, being a Chevron distributor, helped me a lot, because I kind of knew at least ground operations and marketing. Pricing and Valuation was partly an analytical group but also Pricing set the price, U.S.-wide, for every product at every location. So most of that was terminals – there were hundreds of supply terminals – but also company op service stations. So we set the street price for the company ops. All, thanks to computers, do-able, but you looked at lots and lots of data on what the competition was doing.


MD: And supply and demand, there are so many factors.

DC: Yeah, fascinating stuff. Commercial and Industrial, there were distributors which became called "jobbers," they were pretty much independent businessmen who bought product from the company. There was retail, the service stations, and then there was kind of everything else. And everything else was sales to large industrial customers, large trucking fleets, large marine fleets, that kind of stuff. One of our customers was Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas and Electric, Hawaiian Electric. Lube oils, motor gasoline, diesel fuel, obviously from what I just said, fuel oils. It ran the gamut. And of course, I had a staff. I tried to get to know the bigger customers.

One of the things I did there, we had made a deal with PG&E, who thought natural gas was running out. And in order to supply electricity, they thought they were going to have to burn fuel oil, but it would have to be low-sulfur. So Chevron spent $400 million putting in facilities at Richmond to make low-sulfur fuel oil to supply a long-term contract with PG&E. PG&E, once they decided that maybe gas wasn't going to be so short after all, found an out in the contract and got the Public Utilities Commission to suggest they no longer buy low-sulfur fuel. So they walked on the contract. So I got to negotiate a resolution of that. And somewhere in my files – you know when a company makes a cash sale, they fill out a little voucher, a hand-written pencil, well probably ink – so I've got a copy of this thing that says, "Received from Pacific Gas and Electric: $420 million."

MD: Yep, here you go.

DC: Rules are the rules, no matter if it's fifty cents or $420 million.

Marketing Ops was more like and engineer's job. We had the asphalt refineries, the lube blending plants and canning plants, all the trucking fleet, ran all the terminals, all the kind of stuff, nation-wide. Again, fun job, closer to what an engineer does, but all of these were enjoyable.

Along that time, Chevron bought Gulf which was one of the so-called "seven sisters" – it was a big U.S. oil company. And I ran the merger committee downstream [?], for refining and marketing, that sort of said, "here's what Chevron has, here's what Gulf has, here's what the Federal Trade Commission says we have to get rid of. How do we combine this stuff?" So we had people for Gulf, people from Chevron, and we looked at all the refineries, we looked at all the marketing areas, and recommended to management how to consolidate that mess. One of the things Chevron decided to do, which I did in my other job – my Marketing Ops job – was to go with a single brand. Rather than trying to operate the Chevron brand and the Gulf brand, we decided to re-brand all the Gulf stations to Chevron, because we didn't think it made sense to try and operate two brands, a lot of advertising and that sort of stuff.


I also, during that period, went to Stanford to the Business School. Chevron sent me there for a summer to get an intensive – I didn't get the degree, but it's like an MBA. By then I'd pretty much learned it all, so I have to confess, for me it wasn't all that much of a learning experience. But it was fun to associate with people from other companies and other countries even, and I got quite a bit out of that and quite a few learnings. I remember a guy from General Motors talked to me about quality, and up until that point, quality I thought of as product quality – you make sure the product is what you said it was going to be. But they were early experimenters with the Japanese-style quality, process quality, how you do your job and how you look at that and how you make it better and so on. So that was kind of an eye opener for me that I probably would have gone several more years to learn about with the guy from GM.

MD: That crops up again in your story.

DC: It does and I'll get to that, because it ties in very well.

While I was at Marketing Ops, they guy that ran Chevron USA died in a plane crash, a Pacific Southwest plane crash here, going up and down the West Coast. And so they went through the replacement for Jim and they named a Gulf guy to take over Chevron USA, and they picked me to take over the Gulf guy's position. He was running Warren Petroleum in Tulsa, Oklahoma. And Warren was originally privately owned by a guy named Bill Warren, curiously enough, who had the idea of processing natural gas for various owners to take out the heavy stuff that screws up pipelines. And so he had this series of natural gas processing plants across Oklahoma, Texas – I think he had one in Kansas, some in New Mexico – to remove mostly propane-plus, but in some cases ethane as well, from natural gas to make it transferrable through natural gas pipelines and make it easy for you and I to burn safe. And so they were a big natural gas liquids company. Again, fascinating business.

Tulsa, Oklahoma is a wonderful town full of old oil money; great great people. We very much enjoyed living there. I pictured Oklahoma the way you probably picture Oklahoma: sagebrush, flat. But Tulsa is over on the Arkansas border. The Arkansas River runs through town. It's rolling tree-covered hills, quite pretty, home to Southern Hills Golf Course, one of the finer golf courses in the country. So a great great experience, and I was there for four years.

Then I came back to be number two in Chevron Chemical. So unlike what you asked about earlier, this was really my first taste of the chemical business, per se. I mean, I had sort of been around it: chemical interfaces with refineries, they interface with the NGL business. But this was the first time I worked in it directly, and it was largely a Gulf operation. Chevron had mostly fertilizer and additives business, Gulf had the big-time stuff – they owned ethylene plants, they had polyethylene, they had polystyrene. So that was more what the business was. And I was there for quite a while. A different business, so I had to learn that as well. They had great people in the business.

And that's where this stage two of the quality story comes. It really isn't quality exactly. What I'd worried about for a long time is the fact that you have a very good strategy, you have a good training program, and still things don't go right. People aren't adequately motivated, they forget their training, and why is that? So I came across a book by a guy named Aubrey Daniels that was about behavior, and his premise is that if you positively reinforce behavior – when people do it right, make sure you tell them, and do that a heck of a lot more than you tell them when they do it wrong.


And that really rang a bell for me, and so we introduced a program we called Reinforcement-Based Leadership, so this business of reinforcing the behaviors. And we wound up training the chemical company – it was going well, I got lots of reports from way down in the organization, operators in chemical plants. I remember one guy said, "you know, I've worked for this company for twenty years and this is the first time they've told me when I did it right." You know, that sort of makes you cry a little bit.

MD: Yeah, it shouldn't be that way.

DC: But unfortunately, we just sort of got that reasonably well-established – and I'd worried for a long time that Chevron Chemical alone was a small company, we were like the sixtieth largest chemical company, or something like that, in the world. And that's just not going to hack it. So we looked around for merger candidates and we talked about, "well, should we sell? Should be buy? Or should we merge?" And we decided it would probably work best to merge. And we identified Phillips Chemical as a candidate.

Well in the meantime, Phillips merged with Conoco, so we kind of got put off. And then their chairman changed and the new guy said to our chairman, "you know, let's talk more seriously about merging these chemical companies." And so we did and today it's Chevron-Phillips Chemical Company. And the new management of that joint venture decided that they needed to cut costs to compete and all this RBL business was probably a little bit too rich for their blood. So we never really completely got a real good test of it, but I did wind up winning an award from the behavioral association, whatever it's called, and that was really very nice.

MD: Yeah, they gave you the award for outstanding contribution to the field of organizational behavior management. Which I found to be an interesting take on the terminology of it, because it brings it from the top down.

DC: Yeah, exactly.

One of the other interesting stories is how in the world did we ever pick Chevron-Phillips Chemical? My counterpart and I argued, "Chevron ought to come first. After all, it's alphabetical." Phillips said, "no, no, it's gotta be Phillips comes first." We both wanted it to be the two parent company names, because we wanted that association. So I finally said, "let's flip a coin." And he said, "well, let me check." And so I thought, "maybe I ought to check too." So I talked to the chairman and he said, "well, yeah, why not?" So they designed a coin with a Chevron on one side and a Phillips emblem on the other, and had a coin flip, and Chevron won the coin flip. So it's Chevron-Phillips, not Phillips-Chevron. I have an extra one of those coins in my stack of Chevron memorabilia.

I guess, eventually I became head of the chemical company, and that's when I merged it – I probably should have got that in the right order. And then we bought Texaco, and I was out of a job anyway because the Phillips guy got the head of the chemical company. And I became executive vice president for the combined Chevron-Texaco. I didn't really work on the merger very much except in the gas area, because it kind of fell partly in my bailiwick, natural gas that is. Because I became E.V.P. for power, chemicals and technology, and in that job I had the operational heads of each of those kind of companies reporting to me. So the chief technology officer reported to me, the head of the coal company reported to me. We had several power plants that resulted from the Texaco merger, they reported to me.


I had the Sasol-Chevron joint venture for gas to liquids, natural gas to liquids. That works really well when you have remote gas, like in offshore Nigeria. In those days we were producing the gas with the crude oil. Of course, we wanted the crude but we didn't have a home for the gas, because there's no market, so we burned it off. So gas to liquids allows you to take gas like that, convert it in pretty expensive hardware, to diesel fuel – a very high-quality diesel fuel. And then you can easily load that on tankers and take it to markets all over the world.

And I also had the giant Dynegy joint venture, which was kind of like an Enron – not as big, but like an Enron. We had merged Warren Petroleum into Dynegy and had a pretty big ownership in the combined company.

And after a few years of that, I decided that I ought to retire. And that was 2003.

MD: So you spent basically your entire career within the framework of Chevron and within the framework of energy. And so over those forty years, how do you feel – what with today's environmentalism and things like that – then versus now?

DC: Well, yeah. It's very different, although hydrocarbons are still the very basis of our economy. So it is changing, but it's changing slowly, because it costs a lot of money to do solar and it's not terribly efficient. It costs a lot of money to make biofuels and they're not terribly efficient in the processing. It costs a lot of money to do wind farms and people don't like dead birds. So it will be, I think, a long time before hydrocarbons, as fuel, completely phase out. And they're such a great building block for other things, like chemicals, that you'd hate to see them completely get used for fuel.

I thought for a long long time, back in the old days, that the Europeans had it right. Tax fuels pretty heavily. When gasoline in the U.S. was a buck a gallon – I remember it being thirty cents a gallon – but a buck a gallon, say, in Europe in four or five bucks a gallon because of taxes. It was all because they didn't want too much consumption. We, on the other hand – "we," the U.S. – let the consumption go and now, in many ways, we're paying for it. I think there's no question that CO2 is not a good thing, we just don't have a real good alternative for it yet.

MD: Over these forty years, you've ended up seeing all kinds of controversies. Being at the level you were at in the company, the buck stopped at you for a lot of these things.

DC: Many times, yeah. Many times. I remember having a debate with a chairman over the coal company. Texaco had clean coal technology, so I thought, "wow, we have a really good coal business. These guys really know how to mine coal safely. They do it well and they leave no footprint when they're done – they're really great. And if we had clean coal technology, maybe it would make sense to expand our coal business. Do a good job mining and clean the coal up before it's burned to make electricity." Didn't fly. I never made that sale, but I still think it's a pretty good idea.

So there we are. Even before I retired, I came back to the West Coast from Houston – where I had been with the chemical company – and I sort of said to then-president Byrne at Oregon State, "You know John, I'm back now and a lot closer to Corvallis, I'd like to get involved. So how about the OSU Foundation? It has a board, and I heard it's kind of fun, and I think I could make a contribution." And it took John a little while, but pretty soon I got a contact from the Foundation that said, "we'd sure like to have you join our board." So I joined the board of the OSU Foundation, I don't even remember exactly when – back in the early '90s.


MD: '96, yeah.

DC: And we went through some ups and downs with the Foundation and tried to figure out exactly how we ought to do business, but eventually we kind of got our act together and said, "we need to get a lot more involved in fundraising." So we hired Mike Goodwin, who's still there today, from Georgetown, who was and is a crackerjack fundraiser, and he knew how to run that kind of an organization. And that really got us kickstarted.

Then just before I became chair of the Foundation board, we went through an exercise. We brought in the Association of Governing Boards, one of their consultants, who talked to us about what makes boards effective. And we saw a lot of places we could improve. So Mike and I and a small group put together basically a governance document, we called it. But it was, who is responsible for how big we should be? What kind of people do we need to run this organization? Because we were getting pretty big by then. And that resulted in an effort over time to shrink the board down to a more manageable size to get quality people from industry and finance to help us run it properly. So we have very top-notch investment people, we have very top-notch accounting people, auditors, ta-da-da-da-da-da, that really, today, makes the Foundation go like it is – a very big business.

And in that time, we decided "you know," – and this is partly Ed Ray's push – "we ought to have a capital campaign, by golly. We had one at Ohio State" – I almost said OSU. There's too many OSU's, we have one in Oklahoma too. So we decided, "by golly, let's do it." And we studied for a while how to do it, we had a silent phase where we began to raise money without making a big to-do about it, and we set a goal. And I don't know how much money we'd been raising – maybe $40 million a year, if that. And we set a goal of raising $625 million in seven or eight years. And I thought at the time, "no way. There's no way we can do it. But if we don't reach for something, we're never even going to try." So I voted for it and I helped sell some of the other trustees on it. And you know what happened – we blew right through the 625, we raised the goal, we raised it again, and then it wound up being over a billion dollars.

MD: Yeah, 1.14 billion dollars by this last December.

DC: Pretty fantastic. I'm very proud of having some small role in all of that. It was great. I'm also very proud of an opportunity to give back to OSU. OSU really did transform my life; I mean, without OSU, I'd probably be out there logging today, or else out of work. It just made such a huge difference, not only through classwork and education but also, as I said earlier, through all the people I met that helped me make the rest of my life better. So it was a great opportunity to give back to OSU, not only through money – which I've done, of course – but through time and my own experiences.

I've also been active in engineering advisory boards at various levels, and we got the idea at one time to – I guess I got it from Chevron. Chevron was downsizing its in-house research and farming it out either through consortia or to universities, because it was too expensive to do in-house. And I also saw the probability that federal research dollars were going to drop because of the demand for federal money in all directions. So I started talking to the-then V.P. for research about, "we ought to go after more industry money. We don't have enough and we can't rely totally on government money." And he listened but he didn't really bite. And I talked to Ed about it when Ed became the president, and I talked to the new V.P. for research when we were recruiting him – it turned out to be Rick Spinrad – and Rick got it. Rick came from the government, he knew the handwriting on the wall, and we got a lot more active in setting up ways to go after industry dollars.


So we formed an economic commercialization advisory committee – we call it ECAC – under Rick, and Rick brought Ron Adams in, who had been dean of Engineering, to kind of run that group. And Ron got it too. So we slowly began forming ideas and forming a bit of a group that could help make it happen. And we sort of went at it in two phases. One phase is, OSU has a great research product all over the place, so let's do a better job of commercializing that and getting money for it; get licensing royalties. So we improved a great deal in that area – streamlined internally as well as made more contacts. And the other approach is the Chevron experience. Industry is looking for university research, let's go get active with some of these folks and see if we can't make some connections. And we're getting better at that; it's a lot of work, a lot of contacts, a lot of cold calls, if you will. But we're getting better at it and you see that our numbers are growing – industry support for OSU research is getting to be sizeable double digits. Not more than fifty yet, but getting close.

MD: Yeah, I've seen a lot of that in OSU Today and in my own research for Engineering for their 125th, that there's some brilliant minds in colleges today, especially at OSU, and these people are going to be you forty years down the road with some of these corporations. So why not capitalize on some of that?

DC: We've found some great connections that never even occurred to me. Of course I'm a ChemE, so I think processing plants, chemical refineries, whatever. But one of the companies that we're really doing great work with makes saws, and they're very interested in OSU's research capabilities and willing to fund, as well as our business capabilities. They're working with our College of Business too. So fantastic stuff.

Anyway, I eventually term-limited out from the Foundation – that's another thing that we put in, instead of having a good old boys club that stayed forever, we decided, "well, no, twelve years is probably enough. It allows us to turn over and bring in new blood." So I became one of the fall guys and got the axe.

And about the same time, the state was thinking about undoing the Oregon University System, and so eventually they formed first three, and I guess it's now going to be seven, individual boards for the seven state universities. And Ed invited me to be a founding member of the new board of trustees that helps run OSU. Fun stuff. We've only been officially at it for just over a year now, so we're still learning a lot about the university – some of us know more than some of the others. We've done a pretty good job, I think, of separating what we're responsible for versus what the university is responsible for. So we're not micromanaging, I don't think.


We're going to have an off-site in a couple of months that will be our first chance to really talk about a longer-term OSU. Up until now, we've pretty much been firefighting – we have to approve a budget before we've even learned much about the finances, and on and on and on. But it's going well, it's a very very compatible group of people. From the beginning, people are very respectful of one another, they listen, they learn from one another, and I think work well with the administration and the university. So it's been great and again I'm so honored to be part of it all.

MD: And you were elected as vice-chairman.

DC: Yeah, that was a big surprise.

MD: Pat Reser-

DC: Pat's chair.

MD: So when she moves on-

DC: No, I don't think that's anybody's plan, certainly not mine. I feel very very strongly, and I think Ed does too, that the chair should be an Oregon resident – I live in California – for lots of good reasons. And so I don't expect to ever be chair, my job is to help Pat do her job. I have the experience of being chair of the Foundation. She's on the Foundation board of trustees, but she's not been chair. So I think together we make a pretty strong team, and I think that's helped us both.

MD: Well, in our 150 years of history, we started with the board of trustees, went to a board of regents, and had a little period of time with the Oregon University System, and now we've come full circle. So you're part of a lineage.

DC: I guess so, yeah. Hopefully it will be a long and successful one. We're actually mindful of the legacy we leave for future boards and have been careful to document and be thoughtful about all the things you do.

MD: One thing that has rung true with some of my recent interviews with people from the Foundation is the fact that they do feel this obligation to give back to their alma mater. And your alma mater has recognized your contributions: in 2009 you were named to the Engineering Hall of Fame at OSU. And in 2012, as you were heading out of the Foundation, you were awarded the Dan Poling Service Award, which is a major recognition of a person that has contributed to this institution. Your feelings of the college giving back to you after you given to the college?

DC: You do get – or I do – get kind of blown away by it, because those are really both very high honors. And to think that somebody felt that I deserved them is another one of those humbling experiences. Very honored, very pleased, it's just great stuff. And of course, I haven't slowed down just because I got them; I'm still working hard for the university.

MD: A carrot to keep you going. [laughs] Well, one of the things is, our Beaver stories are really not complete without learning about your family, where your kids are – how have they been part of your success?

DC: We have two kids, a daughter born in '69 in Marin County – where we now live, and I guess have had a house almost since we went to California – and my son in '71. One of my regrets is that I had to travel so much when they were kids. I remember packing up to head off to Europe and my son is, I don't know, eight years old or something, and he's crying because I have to leave. And you know, it breaks your heart that I'm not there for a lot of their student life; always tried to be a much as I could, of course.


Shawna was very active – both kids were very active in high school. They enjoyed the Bahamas, by the way, too. I remember when we came back to California, the school Shawna was in – so she was going to school with former classmates – came home one of the very first days she'd gone to school after we got back, crying. Mom says, "what's wrong Shawna?" Shawna says, "oh I hate it here – they're all alike." She was used to the Bahamas where there were Bahamians, white and black, there were Brits, there were people from all over the world and very cosmopolitan.

Anyway, Shawna got a degree at UCLA in psychology and Brady a degree at Oregon State in history and geography. Both kids, when they were barely started college, I said to them, "kids, there are two reasons to go to school. One is to learn stuff to get a job, the other is to learn stuff." They both got –senior year, close to graduation – they both came to me and said, "Dad, what in the world am I going to do with this degree?" And I didn't have the heart to say, "I told you so." But both of them went on to get a master's. Shawna went on to San Francisco State and got an MBA with sort of a major focus on HR. So she worked in the HR area for Charles Schwab, for Compaq, for good companies, and was doing very well until she started having kids of her own and decided that she'd rather raise kids.

Brady came back to OSU and got a degree in geoscience, and now works for Oregon State Parks as their geographic information services manager. So he draws maps, he worries about the boundaries of state parks, he worries about historical sites in state parks. Fascinating stuff. He's out in the field a lot; he loves his job. And he lives here in Corvallis in Soap Creek Valley, which is just west of Adair. And he and I built his garage a few years ago, and built Betty and I an apartment on top of the garage. So when we come to Corvallis we have a place to stay.

Shawna is in our town, San Rafael, California, and her husband is in sales and high tech. They both have kids. Shawna's husband also went to UCLA and they have three kids, ages twelve to nine, boy, girl, boy. Very smart kids. And Brady's family up here, they have two boys, eleven and eight. And again, very smart kids. The kids up here go to Ashbrook – I'll say that because you guys are local, you know Ashbrook. If I told you where they kids down there go to school you wouldn't have any idea what I'm talking about. But Brady and his wife are both OSU grads; she graduated in environmental science. She too is a stay at home mom, but she volunteers a lot. She recently developed an ecological learning program for grade schools, so she goes around to local public schools showing kids the wetlands and what grows in wetlands and all that stuff.

MD: Brady graduated in 2000?

DC: His bachelor's degree was probably about 2000, and then while he was deciding what to do he went out and worked for a year. He worked for an architect as kind of an architect's gopher. And then he came back and got his master's in probably 2003 or so.

MD: So the second generation and we've got to start working on that third generation.

DC: Absolutely. Well, we sent all five grandkids to OSU just a couple weeks ago. The youngest two went to spirit camp, the older three went to an engineering introduction, and they had a ball. God, they did neat stuff. They built buildings – a platform – and then they put a ping pong ball in to represent a person. Then they took them over to the Wave Lab and they tried to see if they would stand up to increasing size waves, so they were full of stories about that. They built a chemical reaction car, they built a solar-powered car, just really fun stuff. So they got a lot out of that. So we're trying to push them in this direction.


MD: That's the reason why we run those programs, because it gives those kids a reason to come back because of their experience here.

DC: Well it seems to be working because we get such a high level of bright bright high school grads from the state of Oregon.

MD: So you're still in the Bay Area?

DC: Yep, North Bay.

MD: And that's where you retired?

DC: Yeah, we retired. We love Oregon, both of us, and we'd live here in a minute if it weren't for so much rain. The weather down there is nicer. Politics are crazy, the traffic is crazy, but the weather is really pretty nice. So we'll probably stay there.

MD: And then you travel up?

DC: Yeah, I'm up here a lot, as you might expect.

MD: Well one of the things that I always like to give our Beavers a chance to do is to impart some final thoughts, final words of wisdom for the Beaver Nation maybe?

DC: Well, I guess I have a couple in general anyway. And I may be treading, with one of them at least, on politically unstable ground, I don't know, but that's never stopped me. I think the state's 40-40-20 idea is not a bad idea in its basic. I think a higher educated workforce is good. I don't know if the numbers are right, I don't know that the timeframe is right, but basically it's a good idea. I also think part of that, to me at least, says four year or more college isn't for everyone. There are kids that ought to be doing that, there are kids that ought to be looking at something else. And the second 40 is certificate kind of programs – learn a craft, learn a trade. Those people are very necessary and I don't know about your area in Oregon but God, in the Bay Area, plumbers and electricians I think make more than I made when I was working. They're good jobs and there's nothing wrong with that, and so to me, 40-40-20 is saying that. At least get a high school degree. If you can, go on and get at least a certificate that learns a trade and gives you a good future. And for those that are able, go on and get at least four-year, if not further, college degree.

The other thing I guess I would say is that I see, even today, a lot of students coming to Oregon State that are first generation students. They come from small towns, they come from minority families, you name it. And Oregon State is a wonderful place, and it welcomes those kids, and they hopefully will have the same transformational life that I had when I came as a first generation student. So supporting OSU, however anybody can, is very worthwhile. We're making this place greater every single day.

MD: Well Darry, on behalf of the OSU Sesquicentennial Oral History Project, we're honored to capture your story and we thank you so much for your participation. You're one of the true Beaver greats.

DC: Thank you very much. That sounds like another award!

MD: Thank you so much.

DC: Thank you, Mike.



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