The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Jim Rudd Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Chris Petersen.

August 19, 2015


“The Enduring Virtue of Competition”  August 19, 2015  Location: Ferguson Wellman Capital Management, Portland, Oregon.  Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)

In the interview, Rudd discusses his family background and upbringing as an "Army brat," his father's sudden passing, his school years in Iowa, and the important role that athletics and sports coaches played in his youth. He also recalls his time at Northern Iowa University as an undergraduate student athlete, graduate student, and athletic business manager for the UNI football team.

The session then turns its attention to Rudd's employment in the athletic department at Oregon State University. He notes his initial impressions of the university and the city, his early duties within the department, and the state of athletics at OSU when he arrived. From there he shares his memories of a number of figures who were involved in athletics administration at the time, including Jim Barratt, Paul Valenti, Dee Andros and Ralph Miller. He likewise recalls his relationships with donor Al Reser, President Robert MacVicar, and OSU Foundation head Jim Dunn. Next he outlines the formation of the Beaver Club booster organization, describes the financial woes that plagued the athletic department, and shares a personal story of having to dismiss OSU's head football coach, Craig Fertig.

The remainder of the interview is devoted to Rudd's activities in the years following his tenure with the athletic department. In this, he details his move to Ferguson Wellman Capital Management, notes his role in Bill Byrne's hire as athletic director at the University of Oregon, and reflects on his acquisition of a new skill set in portfolio management. He also discusses his involvement with the Oregon Consular Corps - noting, in particular, his service as honorary consul to Romania - and with Oregon Health Sciences University.

As the interview nears its close, Rudd recounts his long involvement with the OSU Foundation, including his work as a trustee and as co-chair of the Campaign for OSU. The session concludes with Rudd's thoughts on the future of the university as it looks toward its sesquicentennial anniversary and next major fundraising campaign.