In Memoriam : John Tuschman

tuschmanIt 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 in the 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 in 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 in Yale and Chairman of AIESEC in the 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

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