The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

Sort Interviews by Affiliation or Theme

Duane McDougall Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Mike Dicianna.

July 15, 2015


“Memories of Willamette Industries and the Decline of Big Timber in Oregon”  July 15, 2015  Location: McDougall residence, Lake Oswego, Oregon.  Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)

In the interview, McDougall describes his upbringing in Tigard, Oregon, his decision to attend OSU, his academic experience as a college student, and his social life as well. Of particular note is a story that McDougall tells of traveling to Switzerland while an undergraduate, crossing the Atlantic in pursuit of the woman who would eventually become his wife.

McDougall next discusses his early career years at the Arthur Andersen accounting firm as well as his entrée into Willamette Industries. In tracing his advance up the ranks at Willamette, McDougall reflects on the growth of the company that occurred at the same time that the forest products industry in Oregon began to enter a significant decline. McDougall also speaks of Willamette's connections with OSU's College of Forestry and his own philosophy of management, before sharing his memories of the hostile takeover bid that was launched by Weyerhaeuser in the early 2000s and ultimately led to the dissolution of Willamette Industries in 2002.

From there, McDougall charts his later work as an executive at Boise Cascade, as well as his involvement with several other corporate boards. He likewise notes his civic engagement and philanthropic outreach to a number of non-profit organizations including the Oregon Symphony and the Oregon Community Foundation. He then details his associations with OSU as a supporter and contributor to university advancement. In this, he touches upon his work with the OSU Foundation, the College of Business, and OSU Athletics, as well as his family's endowment of a scholarship fund that supports OSU students hailing from the Tigard area.

The interview concludes with a discussion of McDougall's family and advice that he would share to students of today.