With the opening of Austin Hall in 2014, the Austin Family Business Program is taking the opportunity to honor one of the pioneers of family business at Oregon State.
For years, the advisory board of the Austin Family Business Program had wanted to find a way to honor the program’s founder, Pat Frishkoff.
Frishkoff worked to start the program in 1985, at a time when there was little emphasis on family business in universities. After retiring from OSU in 2002, she continued to help families through her Leadership in Family Enterprise organization.
“What she put together was the beginning of family business education,” AFBP Director Sherri Noxel said. “The only other program that existed was at Wharton, and that was very different, more consulting focused. Pat was able to develop family business education integrated into an existing college of business.”
The perfect opportunity finally presented itself with the construction of Austin Hall, the new home for the College of Business. The new building is named for Ken and Joan Austin, who provided a $10 million gift for the project and also supported Frishkoff’s efforts in 1985.
Austin Hall means a new home for AFBP as well, including a new director’s office. With that opportunity presented, a group of anonymous donors stepped forward to name the office in Frishkoff’s honor.
“That reflects the community we’ve built, with not just one but multiple people stepping up,” Noxel said. “I just couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to honor her than to have a space dedicated to future directors.”
The honor was announced April 19, the same day as the construction launch for Austin Hall, at a gathering at the current AFBP space in Strand Agriculture Hall.
The honor was kept secret from Frishkoff until Noxel raised a toast and presented her with a bouquet of roses.
“Her husband [Paul Frishkoff] was in on it,” Noxel said. “Only later I learned he can’t keep a secret. [Pat] said at the end of the day, ‘You mean Paul knew?’”