Photo of Marjorie RandolphBA 1966, Political Science; JD 1977, Golden Gate University

SVP Human Resources (Retired), Walt Disney Company, Burbank, CA

The Walt Disney Company consists of much more than just “The Happiest Place on Earth,” and Marjorie Randolph’s 15 years there revolved around Walt Disney Studios, where she was senior vice president of human resources and administration. That’s a lot of happiness to manage: live action and animated movies (including much-loved Pixar and Miramax films), music associated with the movies, the home entertainment division, and live stage shows like Disney on Ice. Prior to her work at Disney, Randolph, who is now retired, served as senior vice president and general counsel of the department store chain Mervyn’s.

Just like Disneyland on a hot day with long lines and tired children, human resources work isn’t always all smiles. But Randolph knows the value of one, even when the job gets tough. “During intense legal negotiations, I realized how important it is to read a room, understand how critically important nonverbal communication is, and understand how humor can help bridge an adversarial situation,” she explains.

Purdue Influences
I particularly remember a class in economic history, which brought my interest in business and the impact of existing world conditions together.

Purdue Memories
Drinking at Harry's and wearing my senior cords. More recently, becoming an Old Master.

Purdue Now
The things that make Purdue meaningful to me now are the growth and continuing reputation of the school in its standard of educational excellence, especially in the sciences. In addition, the work being done to ensure full inclusion of diverse segments of our culture in leadership, faculty, staff, and student populations.

Greatest Achievement
Mentoring, training, teaching, and championing the next generation of leaders, especially women. [Editor’s note: Randolph is a member of the National Advisory Panel of Stanford University’s Institute for Research on Women and Gender and a past president of California Women Lawyers.]

Person I Admire
Hillary Clinton

Idea of Perfect Happiness
Living in the present, surrounded by great friends.

What I’m Reading
Catherine the Great by Robert Massie, short stories by Alice Munro, and Michael Pollan’s Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation

Profession I’d Like to Try
doctor, public policy specialist, or scientist

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