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2012 Alma Mater

John Burgoyne '64John Burgoyne ’64
Acceptance speech video

You might be mildly surprised to find a retired president of IBM China in Parker County, Texas. You’d surely be very surprised to find him fighting fires there – but that’s precisely what John Burgoyne has been doing over the past decade.

John capped a 30-plus-year IBM career by serving as president and GM of its China operation during the early ’90’s, when he led the organization to explosive revenue growth before taking on the challenge of managing the company’s Asia-Pacific Travel and Transportation Industries.

After retiring from IBM in 1996, John, as founder and president of Burgoyne and Associates, has continued to provide consulting services to other IBM divisions, Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurial startups.

John’s career success was coupled with an enduring passion for social justice and a deep love for humanity. During his time in China, he worked to raise employee pay to unprecedented levels, instilling self-respect and dignity among the workforce. He also helped found an interdenominational church, the Congregation of the Good Shepherd, which is still in operation today.

Carrying his commitment to service back to the United States, John, with his wife Nancy, spearheaded efforts to build strong partnerships between Fort Worth, Texas, and its sister city, Guiyang, China, to promote world peace and justice.

John also joined the Greenwood Volunteer Fire Department. The grant proposals he wrote there were so well prepared that FEMA invited him to be a peer reviewer in their grant program. Promoted to fire chief, John found himself in April 2011 joined with firefighters nationwide in battling the worst wildfire in Texas history.

As a businessman, as a global citizen, and as a caring neighbor, John has distinguished himself. He moved one nominator to attest: “I can say that John Burgoyne stands in a class by himself in reflecting the highest values and aspirations of private education, and any college or university in this nation would be exceedingly proud to claim him as one of its own.”

As we are, at St. Norbert.

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