McDougall, Foote give advice to the youth while being inducted

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Friday morning, the Pampa Harvester Hall of Fame added Jeffrey McDougall (Class of 1994) and Colonel Michael Foote (Class of 1980) to their esteemed roster of Pampa High School graduates.

The ceremony is an annual event held every Homecoming Weekend and includes not just the induction, but the presentation of “What is a Pampa Harvester?” essay winner.

After the essay winner presentation, each of the inductees are introduced to the student body and give a speech.

Colonel Foote was the first to speak.

Colonel Foote congratulated the seniors and noted how great it was to be back in Pampa. Colonel Foote thanked those involved with the Hall of Fame and spoke about three topics important to remember: Time, service and being a good human.

“There’s 24 hours in a day and that doesn’t change,” Colonel Foote said. “No matter if you’re rich or you’re poor, you’re a president or a king, that doesn’t change. Whether you’re Beyonce, Drake or Billie Ellish, you get 24 hours in that day. You can’t buy more and you can’t make more.

“Here’s the scary part, nobody knows how many of those hours you’re going to get. So what do you do? You make the most of every hour.”

Colonel Foote reminded students to make a plan to help decide how time will be spent and then to get to work to make the plan happen.

Colonel then moved on to his second keyword: service.

“Give to some cause bigger than yourself,” Colonel Foote said. “Wherever you end up on the globe you should find some way to serve others. Mow a neighbor’s yard, serve dinner at a homeless shelter, deliver for Meals on Wheels or coach a kids sports team. Find a way to help other people. It doesn’t have to be earth-shattering.”

Colonel Foote’s final point, being a good human, should be the most simple one.

“It can be, but if it was really so easy why is everybody so angry when you turn on the TV and they are yelling each other,” Colonel Foote said. “It’s easy. Don’t be mean, help others and show respect. Learn to listen and ask questions about the other person. Ask the new kid to come sit with you at lunch and don’t send the snarky snap (on Snapchat).

Colonel Foote left the students with one simple message.

“Use your time wisely, serve something bigger than yourself and be a good human,” Colonel Foote said.

Colonel Foote was also inducted into the Texas Panhandle Hall of Honor over the weekend and the Pampa News caught up with him after the Harvester Hall of Fame to ask about that prestigious honor.

“It’s an extremely humbling experience to be tied in with that population and you read the stories and biographies that are on that wall,” Colonel Foote said. “They are American Heroes and to know that I will be next to them is just incredible.”

As for coming home to Pampa?

It’s always great to come home. It doesn’t matter if you left for a little bit or for 20 years,” Colonel Foote said. “It’s great to come home and see the family that is Pampa. Especially for homecoming, when you have the parade going on and get to see the Pampa Harvester spirit.”

Jeffrey McDougall was the next one to speak during the ceremony and opened by thanking Colonel Foote and military men (active and retired) for their service, followed by thanking his family for all of their support.

McDougall said that while he appears to be a man who is successful, that wasn’t always the case.

“When I was in your seat in this gym almost 41 years ago, I was thinking ‘Do I really know what I want to do?’” McDougall said. “But it was somewhat of an evolution. I was average, when I crossed this podium in May 1980, I was 171 out of 250. That is almost exactly average. I was a C+ because I didn’t apply myself to my studies.”

McDougall said there are a variety of ways to define success, but he would share how success is defined and applied in his life. The tips he shared on success were in some of the following points.

Desire - “You have to have a burning desire if you’re going to succeed. You have to have your goal on the mind all of the time and have a sense of urgency.”

Make decisions quickly - “Don’t be indecisive, it’s the No. 1 cause of failure. You cannot lead or get good results without being decisive. Decide quickly, change your mind slowly.”

Don’t be afraid to lead - “Make things happen. Don’t wait for opportunity to jump in your lap like a puppy dog and lick you in the face. You have to chase it down and capture it.”

Self-control - “You cannot be a drunk, an addict or unfaithful to your spouse and expect to get ahead and stay ahead in life. You watch the news and see all the popular people you think are great, and see them go down one after another. There is a term, the ‘trappings of wealth.’ It’s one thing to be ahead and stay successful, it’s another thing to stay there.”

McDougall summed it up with “Get up early with a sense of urgency and work hard. Don’t be afraid to take risks or fail.”

McDougall dedicated his induction to his late son, Andrew, who passed away in March at the age of 41.

“Andrew was the wind under my wings since the day he was born,” McDougall said. “I was married in high school and I had my first child in March of my senior year. Those two events changed my course.”

As a result, McDougall and his family announced a new scholarship to be given to one PHS senior to study petroleum engineering at the University of Tulsa.

“The scholarship will pay for four years and 100 percent of tuition,” McDougall said. “It will be named the Andrew McDougall Petroleum Engineering Scholarship. It will be an annual award but this year we want to get off to a running start. So for the Class of 2022, we will award two.”

The Pampa News would like to congratulate both inductees into this year’s Harvester Hall of Fame.

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