Why I give back: John Wandishin ’79

Why I give back: John Wandishin ’79
John Wandishin ’79

John Wandishin says he ran for Student Government Association President during his senior year because he wanted to make a positive contribution to a school that had given him so much. So when he discovered the position came with a $500 stipend, he felt uncomfortable accepting it.

“The College had been so good to me, in so many ways, that I felt an obligation to give something back,” he recalls. It was then, he says now, that he decided to return his stipend by establishing a student scholarship after he graduated.

That allowance is long since repaid; nonetheless, Wandishin continues to make positive contributions to his alma mater by supporting the scholarship fund he established. The award is presented annually to a student who exhibits the qualities of honor, courage, leadership, scholarship, and service with the aim of making a positive contribution to the College community.

The former SGA president is now a vice president of marketing at Brother International, where his primary responsibilities are heading up the Business Machines Division’s Marketing Communications, Latin America marketing support and business planning areas. His experiences at TCNJ created the foundation for his current successes, he said.

“I remember there was just a genuine interest on the part of those who I came in contact with at the College, from the top to the bottom, to encourage students to pursue their goals, think creatively, and become leaders,” Wandishin said. “[Former President] Clayton Brower fostered that environment. He is a one-of-a-kind person, and he really made an impression on me. Even today, I find myself looking for ways to motivate and work with people in the same way he made it a point to work with me and the other students. My interactions with him set an important tone for my career, and for these reasons, I feel it is important to continue to give back to create opportunities for others similar to those that I was fortunate enough to benefit from.”

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