'Accidental' Student Becomes a Lifetime Fan of MHCC
Posted: April 23, 2012
Where would Mark Kralj be today if he hadn’t injured his knee early in his years at Oregon State University? Successful at something, no doubt, but it was his time at MHCC that changed his career direction and put him on the path that eventually led him to his present position as a portfolio manager and principal of Ferguson Wellman Capital Management, an independent investment advisory firm based in Portland.
“I was literally an accidental student,” Kralj says. “I wrecked my knee and had to stay close to home for a while, so I came back from Oregon State and enrolled at Mt. Hood Community College. Right away I noticed a difference: With smaller class sizes at MHCC, I was able to work much more closely with my instructors. It really had an influence on me. In fact, I liked my accounting teacher, Lucille Neiman, so much, I wound up changing my major from forestry to accounting!”
Devotes Time and Resources to MHCC
That change charted a new direction for Kralj, even after he returned to OSU. Following graduation, he went into banking and eventually into capital management for private and institutional clients—but he never forgot the inspiration he received from Neiman, nor the importance of MHCC to generations of students. Kralj gives of his time and resources to many worthy causes around the state, including leadership roles with the OSU Foundation and the Providence Child Care Center Foundation. And, he continues to keep a place in his heart for MHCC—where his road to success began—by supporting student scholarships through generous donations to the MHCC Foundation.
“I’ve been involved in one way or another with education all my life,” says Kralj. “My father was a teacher, and my wife was a counselor in high schools and at MHCC. It’s clear that MHCC plays a vital role in providing affordable, quality education and retraining, and the College urgently needs support from donors in the private sector to continue serving its mission to transform lives and build communities.
Inspiration and Education
“MHCC is all about creating opportunity for students and employers, and that’s critically important if we are going to grow our way to a stronger economy,” he continues. “I support MHCC because they gave me inspiration and education with passion behind it, and they are still doing that for today’s students. There are very few things more important than that.”
When Kralj does the math on the benefits of MHCC to our community, it comes up as a good investment every time.