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Fr. Anderson named WITC Distinguished Alumni

Natalie Landgreen (left), WITC campus advancement associate, presents a clock and plaque to WITC’s 2017 Distinguished Alum, Fr. John Anderson, at WITC-New Richmond’s recent commencement exercises. Anderson spoke to the more than 220 graduate candidates who attended the ceremony, encouraging them to be proud of their great accomplishment. He is pastor at New Richmond’s Immaculate Conception Church. Courtesy of WITC-New Richmond

New Richmond's Father John Anderson received an additional honor this spring when Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College-New Richmond named him its distinguished alumni at the college's commencement ceremony.

Fr. Anderson graduated WITC-New Richmond in marketing in 1982. Today, he shepherds two flocks: One at New Richmond's Immaculate Conception Church, the other at Erin Prairie's St. Patrick's Church. After graduating WITC, he went on to continue his education, serve his community and became a leader within the Diocese of Superior.

His selection as a WITC Distinguished Alum is largely based on his larger than life presence in the New Richmond area. He is a substitute bus driver, an active member of the community choir, serves on the Fine Arts Council, volunteers at the Empty Bowls Fundraiser — all in addition to the duties that befit his occupation as father of a large Catholic congregation.

Laura Jo Jarchow, who nominated Anderson, said "Father John is an individual who cares about the community. He strives to promote involvement in religious and civic organizations in the community. He's regularly seen at high school sporting events, concerts, community festivals and most important, he is always looking for a new way to give back to his community."

Anderson spoke at WITC's graduation this spring and commented on how he'd been seated in the same place as the graduates more than 30 years ago. At the time, he says, it seemed like no big deal; the honor seemed undeserved. But he spoke to that feeling, saying, "I think we all have that feeling at times. But you have succeeded! No matter how you got here, right out of school, finishing school, previous job loss, trying something new ... whatever! Do not deny that you have succeeded!"

He concluded his address to the grads by saying, "As I look out across all of you, it does make me a proud alum because of you. Congratulations WITC class of 2017. Well done. Bring it on!"

Anderson received a clock and a plaque from the WITC Foundation to honor him as WITC-New Richmond's 2017 Distinguished Alum.

The WITC Foundation established the WITC Distinguished Alumni Award program to honor outstanding alumni who contribute to career and community.