John F. Bergstrom, Bus Ad ’67
In the late 1990s, when John served on the Marquette University Board of Trustees, the School of Dentistry proposed a bold initiative to build a state-of-the-art building and reinvent its curriculum. John embraced the vision of a world-class program, and his leadership and support have contributed significantly to the school being at the forefront of dental education today.
Several years before he began working on fundraising for the new building, John’s advocacy helped the School of Dentistry survive amid threats of closure. He collaborated to secure a state funding contract and supported operational changes to make the school a profit center, laying the groundwork for the new building’s campaign and a 2012 expansion. John was instrumental in selling the vision to the Marquette University Board of Trustees and administration, fundraising and generally keeping the process moving forward with a small group of key players simply called the “Get It All Done” committee.
The chairman and CEO of Bergstrom Corp. in Neenah, Wis., and champion of Wisconsin economic growth says the work he has done for the School of Dentistry “has been incredibly rewarding because this amazing institution is educating the doctors who will provide state-of the-art dental care for the six million people of Wisconsin.”
John’s professional success, ethical business leadership and contributions to his community have earned him numerous awards and accolades, as has his commitment to Marquette. He received the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award from the College of Business Administration in 1988, as well as the All-University Alumnus of the Year Award in 2003.
John and his company’s fundraising to build a new Boys & Girls Club in the Fox Cities, Wis.-area, where he lives and works, earned him the 2015 Janet Berry Volunteer of the Year award, which recognizes an individual for acts of exemplary volunteerism that make the community a better place to live.
For John, “Success is about making a difference and caring about people who are made better as a result of your presence, and having that last into your absence. Marquette enhanced the incredible importance of giving back as part of my life plan.”
Fun fact: John and his brother Richard, Bus Ad ’72, ran a small bar in Neenah shortly after he graduated college. He says the lessons he learned there still apply in his job as the CEO of Bergstrom Corp.