After graduating from St. Dunstan’s University (now the University of Prince Edward Island), Don McDougall earned his MBA at the University of Western Ontario on a scholarship from Labatt’s in 1961. He would work in several managerial capacities for the brewing giant, before being named the company’s president and settling in London, Ontario in 1973.
Part of his mandate as president during the mid-’70s was to secure a Major League Baseball franchise for Labatt’s and the city of Toronto. His efforts were a lesson in perseverance, first overcoming a failed attempt to move the San Francisco Giants to Toronto and then having to stave off a bid from another group of Toronto businessmen. He worked tirelessly for several years to bring baseball to Toronto, and many credit his tenacity as the single-most reason that big league baseball is played in Toronto today.
As founding director with the Jays, McDougall would help establish the foundation for the eventual World Series-winning clubs by hiring Paul Beeston and Pat Gillick. After leaving the club, McDougall headed several successful business ventures. In 2008, the University of Prince Edward Island named a new building after McDougall and his wife, Marion, to honour their commitment to higher learning and philanthropic efforts. The following year McDougall was inducted into the London, Ontario Business Hall of Fame.