Joe Breslin '07 and Dr. Scout

Joe Breslin '07 and Dr. Scout

When a student learns a practical lesson from his professor, he is prepared for life.

Purpose Discovered.

Breslin & Scout

Joe Breslin, Partner, Armstrong Dixon 

Associate Professor of Business Management Terry Scout (retired) 

Breslinn & Scout

It was early spring semester, 2006. Joe Breslin came to his marketing class with his books and a gnawing pit in his stomach. The night before, he fell asleep after basketball practice and didn’t complete the required reading. Joe had a sinking feeling that a monkey was headed his way.  

The Backstory

Joe: To this day, I remember Dr. Scout standing in front of my desk, flashing a wide grin and waving a string of monkeys back and forth as he asked me a marketing question. If you didn’t know the answer, or you guessed and missed wildly, he would give you one of those bright red monkeys.  

Dr. Scout was teaching us, in a fun way, the critical importance of being prepared. He was also teaching us the skills of thinking in front of your peers and others who are judging you. In this case, the punishment of a couple of monkeys on your desk was comical, but in the “real world,” not answering questions to the satisfaction of the inquiring party can have bigger consequences in business. Dr. Scout wanted us to succeed. He didn’t want to give us those monkeys, and he would laugh with us if we failed. He was so skilled at finding that fine line between humor and a hard lesson. 

I learned a lot at Washington College, but the biggest lesson was perhaps the simplest. Do the work, be prepared.  

Dr. Scout: In my class, I called on every student. You had to participate. I shuffled index cards that had each student’s name on them.  It was okay to give a wrong answer, but you had to show me you were at least in the ballpark. If I asked you what 2+2 equals and you said, “Blue,” you’d get a monkey. You couldn’t just float into my classroom and sit quietly at a desk. I wanted my students to come prepared.  

In my left coat pocket I kept the monkeys. What no one seems to remember is that in my right pocket I had Hershey’s Kisses, which a student got for not just the right answer, but an extraordinarily good answer.  

The idea was to reinforce the importance of preparation, encourage real engagement with the lesson, and to do it in a fun and memorable way.  

As part of its 40th anniversary , the Business Management Dept. is proud to feature the stories of star alumni and the professors who inspired them. The year-long celebration will culminate in a Fall gala.