Katrinka and Tom McCallum were one of the first married couples to enroll at Fuqua in the same Fuqua class and program. They were also among the first Daytime MBA classes to receive Duke email addresses, which came paired with Fuqua classes on how to use the new tools of the time—the World Wide Web, PowerPoint, and Excel. The McCallums’ long history with Fuqua extends to many facets of the school: as class leaders, event speakers, corporate recruiters for full-time and internship roles, facilitators of experiential learning projects, donors, and much more.
Through their 29 years of marriage, the McCallums have shared a great deal in their journeys through business school, careers, and, most recently, COVID-19. Living in the Triangle with their adorable golden doodle and two teenage boys, Katrinka explains, “It’s been an incredibly dynamic year as many have experienced. Ours is a story of good mixed with a lot of change. Not long ago, we relocated to a really great in-town home with a rooftop deck in Durham, and we hope we can share this with classmates who come to the area!”
In addition to their shared business school experience, Katrinka and Tom also worked at Red Hat together for many years. They both recently took on new roles in their careers, with Katrinka leaving Red Hat as Vice President of Customer & Product Experience to focus on her board member positions at Intrusion, Inc. and the North Carolina Board of Science, Technology & Innovation. In 2019 Tom joined Zoom Video Communications, a company that has touched many lives across the world this past year, as Head of Investor Relations.
Tom reflects on Zoom’s dramatic growth and expansion at the onset of the pandemic, “We went from about 10 million to 300 million users in a matter of days. It was very energizing, and it was really cool. This time last year, we were out there every day trying to make sure our infrastructure stays up. I find myself not only doing investor relations but also doing sales support and customer support. We just scaled so big so quickly. You think about some of the best-run companies in the world—just think if 30 times the number of people showed up at Disney World.”
Even amid career changes, major world events, and online college tours with their son, the McCallums decided they would triple their contributions to The Katrinka and Tom McCallum Scholarship Fund, an endowed scholarship they established in 2019 with a gift of $100,000. In celebration of their 25th reunion in 2020, they pledged to continue building the scholarship with an additional $200,000. “Our goals are to help add to the diversity of the school and to help someone in need,” Tom said of this generous commitment.
Katrinka and Tom have invested in Fuqua every year since their graduation in 1995, first through gifts in honor of their class to support faculty excellence, then through the Fuqua Annual Fund, and of late to their endowed scholarship. When asked why they chose to give back from day one, Katrinka says, “The notion of giving back and paying it forward is something that is part of the spirit that we have always had between us, how we have grown up and together as a couple. It’s a nice way for us to feel we are contributing forward. Also, I received scholarship funding when I was at Fuqua. This is a thank you to the school for taking a bet on me and a way for me to help the school take a bet on someone else.”
The McCallums continue to serve Fuqua in a variety of ways and show no signs of slowing down: “At 25 years out, we are looking at what classmates have done, and they have amazing stories and capabilities. I’d love the school to feather that deep alumni knowledge into the classroom and the experiences for the students.”
As a couple, the McCallums always look to improve and give back to the place that gave them so much. As leaders in the Fuqua alumni community, their next steps to positively impact future classes of students will be inspiring to watch.