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Marquette University Alumni Association

Diederich College of Communication Award Recipients

Communicator of the Year Award

Theodore StruppTHEODORE H. STRUPP, JOUR '80

Wauwatosa, Wis.

Change is good. Or so the saying goes. The truth, though, is that change only benefits those who know how to deal with it, which is easier said than done. Especially for an organization.

Ted Strupp has spent the majority of his career helping organizations and their employees connect with one another, especially during times of organizational change.

“What I like most is serving as an advocate for the interests and concerns of employees,” he says.

Ted is director of corporate and executive communication at Northwestern Mutual and leads a team responsible for sharing the company’s financial and investment information with stakeholders and supporting the communication needs of the company’s senior executives.

“By facilitating effective two-way communication between companies and their employees, I hope I have simultaneously helped businesses succeed while allowing employees to be heard and respected,” he says.

Before Northwestern Mutual, Ted was a communication consultant with Towers Perrin, an international human resources and management consulting firm. He also was an account executive and supervisor at three of the nation’s leading public relations agencies: Daniel J. Edelman Inc., Bozell & Jacobs Public Relations, and Hill and Knowlton. Ted began his career in the corporate communications department of the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co.

Knowing how integral his Catholic education was, Ted serves on two academic advisory boards: the board of directors of Milwaukee’s Pius XI High School and the Marquette University J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication Dean’s Advisory Board.

“Marquette’s journalism degree came packaged with a heavy dose of philosophy, theology, ethics and foreign languages, all taught by people who made me ask the difficult questions and find the deeper answers,” he says.

Fun fact: As part of his foreign language requirement, Ted minored in German, a language in which he had no experience. Dr. Esther Hudgins — or Frau Hudgins, as her students called her — was kind-hearted and motherly. “Eventually, I felt comfortable enough to study in Germany for a summer with the program she ran for more than 20 years,” he says. He also was part of a group of Frau Hudgins’ students who in 1996 raised money to create an endowed scholarship in her name.