20 questions with Director of Leadership Gifts Doug Draut
May 2, 2013
My title is Director of Leadership Gifts. That’s a fancy way of saying development officer, which is a fancy way of saying fundraiser.
2. Where did you grow up (and describe the place in one phrase or sentence)?
I grew up in St. Matthews, Ky., which is a suburb on the east end of Louisville. Growing up there in the ’60s and ’70s was a “Leave it to Beaver” experience. I had two older brothers, everyone played outside, we rode our bikes everywhere, air conditioning was a luxury, we walked to and from school, and we knew all of our neighbors.
3. What are your hobbies?
My interests are an ever-rotating lot. However, my long-term interests include spending time with my family, reading, walking my dogs and working around the house.
4. What is your dream vacation?
Sitting under an umbrella on the beach in Destin, Fla., with my feet propped up, a good book in my hands, a cooler with my favorite beverages by my side, a gentle breeze blowing in from the water—all the while listening to Pachelbel on my iPod.
5. Favorite artist and/or work of art?
Anything by M.C. Escher, especially “Ascending and Descending,” “Waterfall, Convex and Concave” and “Relativity.” Our lives are governed by rules and regulations, rights and wrongs, do’s and don’ts. His work is like a cognitive vacation; it helps my brain escape the box we live in and think about the impossible.
6. Favorite novel or poem?
“The Noticer” by Andy Andrews. It will shake you out of the zombie trance we all get stuck in and help you notice things right in front of you that you didn’t even see.
7. Favorite sport (to watch or play)?
My knees have all but ended my playing days, but I really like watching University of Louisville football and basketball.
8. Favorite TV show?
Without a doubt, “The Big Bang Theory.” “How I Met Your Mother” is a close second. “Duck Dynasty” third.
9. Favorite album?
Tough one here; so many to choose from. My tastes are all over the place. A few of my favorites are They Might Be Giants, Steve Miller Band, Joe Jackson, U2, The Guess Who, Wes Hawkins, Trey Anastasio, Todd Rundgren. I can keep going, but you’re going to need to give me more room.
10. Favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving. F3—food, family and four days off.
11. Favorite food?
I adore Chinese food.
12. Most prized possession?
I learned a long time ago that life is fleeting. The things of this world are not mine to own. I’m just enjoying them while I’m here.
13. Three people, living or deceased, whom you’d invite to the same dinner party?
Dirk Pitt, Harry Bosch and Jack Reacher.
14. Favorite aspect of your job?
Meeting Centre alums and hearing the stories that made their college experiences memorable—some even include drinking.
15. Most memorable experience of your youth?
Camping and boating at Lake Cumberland. We had a camper and pontoon boat at the lake. When I get together with my brothers for holidays, inevitably one of these stories will surface.
16. What would you be doing if you weren’t working at Centre?
Trying to make the world a better place by working as a fundraiser with another nonprofit or worthy educational institution.
17. Educational experience that's been most helpful to you?
Oddly enough, it didn’t come from a classroom. It came from my dad. He once told me, “You can’t go through life and take, take, take. You have to give something back. That could be by giving money to someone or some group, volunteering your time, or serving your community.”
18. Fictional character in whose shoes you’d love to spend a day?
Dirk Pitt. He has the rugged good looks, the physique, usually has a good comeback and always makes the right decision regardless if it best for him. Plus all of his adventures involve the ocean (above and below). I’m an Aquaman wannabe.
19. Favorite place on campus (and why)?
The sidewalk leading from Old Centre to the Campus Center that passes along by the spring (opposite side from the tree swing). There is something serene about walking this walk.
20. Advice you'd give to a first-year college student to make success more likely?
Get involved. Do something. Radically invest yourself. Don’t look back after graduation and think, “Wow, I really didn’t do much other than attend class, study and party.” You deserve better than that. So do the people who are going to hire you.
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Centre College, founded in 1819, is a nationally ranked liberal arts college in Danville, Ky. Centre hosted its second Vice Presidential Debate on 10.11.12, and remains the smallest college in the smallest town ever to host a general election debate. For more, click here.