Huntsman Post

Call Family Foundation donates $3.5 Million to USU and U of U

The Call Family Foundation plans to invest $1.75 million in scholarship and services that will directly benefit students at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University, with the same amount, $1.75 million, going to the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, for a total donation of $3.5 million.

Crystal Maggelet announced earlier this month the Foundation's plans to donate $1 million to fund one new, fully-staffed career services center that will bear the Flying J name, at each school. The universities also will receive an additional $750,000 each to be allocated over a 15-year period for scholarships for FJ Management employees and students at the two universities.

Crystal Maggelet

Photo by: Steve Eaton

Ms. Maggelet is the chief executive officer of FJ Management, which used to be called Flying J. She made the announcement to a group of FJ Management employees on Feb. 6. She said the idea of making the donation first came up in 2006. Ms. Maggelet said that she liked the idea of funding career centers because of what it could do for students.

“I had become very impressed with what both of these schools are doing for our state and our kids,” she said. “I wanted to do something to give back to these schools so that we could, hopefully, continue the progress that they were making for our community.”

Each year, up to 10 scholarships will be awarded to USU students who are current or former employees of Flying J or FJ Management, or the spouses or children of current or former employees of Flying J or FJ Management.

Dean Douglas D. Anderson said the Huntsman School recognized Ms. Maggelet with its highest honor, the Distinguished Executive Alumnus Award, in 2008, just before the company went bankrupt. Ms. Maggelet visited the Huntsman School of Business in January and told the students about the unusual circumstances and decisions made by a former company leader that led to the bankruptcy. She also outlined her determined efforts to pay off all creditors, minimize job losses, and keep Flying J afloat. Dean Anderson said she earned the award twice.

“I think you’ve created a wonderful business case that will be studied, not only here in the state of Utah, but throughout the country,” Dean Anderson said when the announcement was made.

He said the choices she made would be worth studying because of her integrity and the focus she kept on her customers and employees.

“We are proud of you, Crystal, and we are honored to have this wonderful gift,” he said.

Taylor Randall, dean of the David Eccles School of Business, agreed with Dean Anderson that Ms. Maggelet set an example under trying circumstances.

“Sometimes it is difficult for leaders,” he said. “You think you’ve got a map, you think you’ve got a vision, but a lot of times it just takes courage and integrity to get you through. So, Crystal, I commend you for that. It’s remarkable.”

Ms. Maggelet said the donations were a fulfillment of her late father’s vision to help young people. Ms. Maggelet’s father, Jay Call, founded Flying J Fuel Co. in 1968.

“My father died suddenly at a young age,” she said in a press release. “He was generous every day in small ways but never had much of an opportunity to give back in ways that could help hundreds of students for years to come. He started with nothing, but through hard work and determination he built Flying J to become one of North America's largest diesel fuel retailers. This gift will help hundreds of students accomplish their educational dreams. It is my hope that those who receive this scholarship will apply the same spirit of entrepreneurship and independence in their lives that my father demonstrated."

People often think of scholarship donations as investments in students. Dean Anderson said that in Crystal Maggelet’s case the investment has certainly paid off. Ms. Maggelet attended USU on a scholarship for two years before graduating from Pepperdine University and, later, Harvard.

“We were fortunate enough to attract Crystal as an undergraduate through a merit scholarship, and I’d just like to say I hope all of our scholarships have the same rate of return,” he said.

Becky Kelly, left, and Shaun Allred talk to a reporter.

Photo by: Steve Eaton

Becky Kelley is a senior majoring in human resource management and international business, who said she has received help from Huntsman’s Internship and Career Acceleration Office to line up two internships, one of which resulted in her getting a job offer. She has served internships with Western River Expeditions and the Management and Training Corporation. She said she believes the donation will allow those who work in the office to reach out to more students.

“It makes me excited to think what the Career Accelerators can do with those added resources,” she said. “They’ve already done so much for me, and I hope they’ll be able to help more students in the future.”

Shaun Allred, a senior majoring in operations management, said that the office helped him line up an internship with an agriculture company called AGCO, which was perfect for him because he grew up on a dairy farm and is interested in the business side of agriculture.

“I think it’s money well spent,” he said of the donation. “I think it’s almost pointless to go to school if you can’t find a job afterward, so I think the donation will prove an excellent investment. It will be spent helping students find internships and jobs.”