Klingler College of Arts and Sciences Recipients
Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award
JOHN C. SCHAEFER, ARTS '66
— Numerous senior IT positions, including CIO
— Business entrepreneur
All describe John’s professional career: from 31 years at Monsanto, applying information technology to bring agricultural and pharmaceutical products to market, to his role with a startup venture, developing a product for preventing distributed denial of service attacks by hackers. Add “successful” before the list of hats John has worn, and there’s a partial sense of who he is.
But there’s another aspect John likes to emphasize. He’s about maximizing results in all he does. That includes one of his proudest undertakings — giving back through scholarship support at Marquette. With a penchant for science that helped him win science fairs beginning in eighth grade — one of which landed him a full scholarship to Marquette in 1962 — John believes education is critical for developing skills and competence so individuals can make a difference while they make a living. That’s what he has done through his career and scholarship support alike, which to date has helped four students in different disciplines develop their potential.
As John tells his scholarship recipients, you don’t have to be a wizard to be successful at what you do, and you don’t have to do the same thing all of your life. It is imperative, though, to develop critical-thinking and practical skills that are invaluable in any field and to be a lifelong learner — lessons John learned at Marquette.So here’s to a man who dons yet another hat: a caring alumnus who is helping students move forward to maximize their future.