McDonald’s Charities CEO urges USF students to be significant

University of St. Francis students were inspired to be both successful and significant during the Spring Business Symposium on Tuesday April 12th. Doug Porter, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana, challenged students to “live a life of significance” by striving to balance their professional aspirations with personal obligations to family, friends, their health and the community.

“Success is a means to significance,” he said. “But, you don’t have to be wealthy to be significant… Nobody is promising tomorrow.” During the symposium, which was presented by the College of Business and Health Administration and Fifth Third Bank, Porter asked students what salary range would make them both successful and happy. Answers ranged from $100,000 to one million. “The underlying theme is that more money will bring more happiness,” he said. However, Porter said that studies have found that beyond $75,000 annually there are diminishing returns. “Beyond that, money does not buy your happiness,” he said. “Once you’ve attained basic human needs, you’ll find happiness.” Students will have lasting success or develop legacy when they engage themselves philanthropically on a grand or personal scale, Porter said.

He also commended USF for integrating respect, service, integrity and compassion—the university’s core values—into its curriculum. “The University of St. Francis gets it and is creating a framework for students to live a life of significance,” he said.

Porter, of Western Springs, has been CEO for the area’s Ronald McDonald House Charities since 2004. He oversaw the organization’s merger of its Chicago area operation in one cohesive organization dedicated to the health, well-being and education of children. The area’s four Ronald McDonalds house provide a “home away from home” for 84 families each night for families in medical crisis.