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In Memory of John Tuschman

Thursday, June 18, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Karen Thigpen
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Many remember John Tuschman (Columbia '61) as the legendary alumnus who helped establish AIESEC at Yale and then later was instrumental in building the overall foundation of AIESEC in United States.  In honor of his recent passing, AIESEC Life reached out to several of his friends to capture their memories and recollections of him during his time.  Three alumni, legends in their own right, share a few thoughts below. Learn more about John and his legacy in this obituary

"I was shocked to learn of John's passing. I spoke with him just a few months ago about his plans to promote the next world's boxing champion. John was an enthusiastic sports lover and owned several sports teams.

After graduating from Columbia, John built a very successful real estate business. My wife and I atttended his marriage to his first wife Julia, who sadly passed away long ago, in Henderson , North Carolina. He was on his way to a wonderful,  joyful and accomplished life.

After I established AIESEC at McGill  and at universities across Canada with the financial support of Charles Bronfman, I joined the, team at Columbia with Norman Barnett and John with goal of globalizing AIESEC. We succeeded in getting Victor Loewenstein elected General Secretary at the Marseilles Congress at which John represented the U S. His dedication and skill proved invaluable in building AIESEC in the US and his continued support,  helped promote the US on the world stage culminating in the first US International Congress in Princeton in March of 1963 and the meeting at the White House with President Kennedy. May he rest in peace."

- Lionel Simons  


"It is with both sadness and esteem that I read of the passing of John Tuschman.  He and his colleagues, Norman Barnett (deceased) and Roger Conheim at Columbia Business School personified Margaret Mead’s famous quote:   “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.”   They were the pioneers who started AIESEC in the U.S. and never wavered in their support of the program.

It is my understanding that AIESEC U.S. was started at Columbia Business School when Charles Bronfman (Seagrams) came from Canada to Columbia and got the support of the then dean (?) to back the program.   AIESEC Canada had been started prior to the U.S.  This effort was also supported by Victor Loewenstein and Lionel Simons, and I’m sure several other key people from Europe.

John Tuschman was a friend of Steve Keiley at Yale, and together they founded AIESEC Yale, where Steve served as President.  When I saw a poster of the Eiffel Tower and other international landmarks with the sign “Get paid while traveling to exotic places for a real summer job.” I couldn’t resist.  I signed up and went to Paris as a trainee at the Aeroport de Paris.  Wow, how exciting.  I never looked back, and eventually became President of AIESEC Yale and Chairman of AIESEC U.S.

I can remember, however, the enthusiasm, good humor and total support provided by John Tuschman.  He was a natural leader with great wisdom even at a young age.

When we look back over our lives and remember those who served as mentors and supporters, John Tuschman will always stand out as one of the very finest.  Thank you John for all you did for me, and for all you did for AIESEC."

- John W. Allen

"We agree that John Tuschman should be praised.  Motion 99 of IC'60 indeed thanked  "Norman Barnett, Steve Keiley and John Tuschman for the work they have done in expanding the program in the USA".   After that he helped AIESEC US further to  innovate the program and  to exert  increasing influence on AIESEC.  He  continued US support for global expansion.  All that was build up for culminating  IC'63 Princeton and President Kennedy's AIESEC reception....Respect for John Tuschman is due not for one particular action in international AIESEC but for being one of the pillars of  the development of  AIESEC in the United States.  I am really  touched by his passing."

- Bernd Thomas


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