Hoyts pledge $1 million to Willamette University MBA for not-for-profit education

by University Communications,

George and Colleen Hoyt have pledged $1 million to Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management to provide scholarships for students committed to managing not-for-profit organizations.

“George’s generous gift is an unprecedented step in offering scholarships to those committed to a career in not-for-profit management,” said Debra Ringold, dean and JELD-WEN Professor of Free Enterprise. “Through our curriculum and accreditation, Willamette’s MBA program is uniquely positioned to prepare managers for the not-for-profit sector.”

Willamette’s MBA program is one of only two in the world accredited for both business and public management. As part of the curriculum, students work directly with regional not-for-profit companies.

“In my career as newspaper publisher, I have been a volunteer and a board member of many Not-For-Profit organizations (NFP). NFP’s are created and driven by individuals with a mission. But I have observed how good management makes the difference between the most successful and the others. Good management practices are usually behind the strong and growing organizations,” said George Hoyt.

Hoyt Scholarships will be awarded to students with previous not-for-profit experience who demonstrate a commitment to serve the not-for-profit community or those with an expressed desire to do so. Students in either MBA program—the evening MBA for Professionals or full-time Early Career/Career Change MBA—are eligible for the award. Ringold added, "The Hoyts’ gift is characteristic of their long-standing commitment to Willamette University, the Atkinson Graduate School of Management and to capacity-building in Oregon's not-for-profit sector."

"For decades, George and Colleen Hoyt have been philanthropic leaders at Willamette through their advocacy and generous support of academic resources and facilities, student scholarships, the arts, and the Atkinson Graduate School of Management,” said Stephen E. Thorsett, university president. “This special gift is not only an investment in Willamette but in our communities through leaders of our arts, cultural and social service organizations.”

“Educating managers of NFP is one of the three Atkinson Graduate School missions. The quality of the experiential programs, the personal involvement of the faculty and the mix of business and government students make it a rich learning environment. It was my belief that our investment in scholarships for committed managers not only extends the Atkinson mission but will build a cadre of not-for-profit managers who will strengthen organizations across the Pacific Northwest,” added Hoyt.

"The Hoyt’s gift will significantly impact our ability to offer financial support to MBA applicants with a demonstrated commitment to the non-profit sector. From an admissions perspective, our future classes will benefit significantly from this extraordinary gift,” said Alexander Subert, dean and Director of Admission for Willamette’s MBA for Professionals.

George Hoyt’s commitment to Willamette University began with his graduation in 1958. He earned an MBA from the University of Oregon in 1963 and an Owners/Presidents Management certificate from the Harvard Business School. Hoyt’s distinguished career in the newspaper industry spanned over 35 years. His career included stops in Oregon, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles. He has held executive positions with the Pioneer Press, Washington Star, Time Inc., Lesher Communications and San Gabriel Valley Publishing Company. Hoyt joined the Willamette University Board of Trustees in 1989 and has served on the Academic Affairs Committee, as chair of the Development Committee, and as chair of the Atkinson Graduate School of Management Committee. He has served on the board of numerous philanthropic organizations including the Sunshine Division affiliated with the Portland Police Bureau, Clackamas County Library Intergovernmental Board, Sandy Library Advisory Board, Sandy Chamber Board, Clackamas County Extension Board, Sandy River Basin Watershed Council, Friends of Sandy Library Board and Sandy River Basin Partners Group.

Colleen Hoyt grew up in West Virginia and started her career at the Washington Star newspaper in Washington D.C. and retired after 22 years as the director of promotion and public relations. She later went on to work at a Washington advertising agency, Goldberg Marchesano, where she served as vice president for accounts and personally oversaw the Public Broadcasting System account. While living in New York City, she was the executive director of the Brooklyn YWCA. She is a member of the Friends of Sandy Library and was instrumental in building the Friends’ bookstore, which she has managed for the last 18 years.