John was born November 11, 1933 in Milwaukee, of Howard and Frances Weingandt. Howard was an early Lambda Teke (ck scroll number, circa 1920) Yes, John is a legacy! Naturally, he became a pledge his freshman year, 1952, and began his UW studies in the Art Department, hoping to someday become a commercial artist. The Art Department and John’s style were a bad match, and he graduated in ‘56 with a degree in geography which didn’t hold much career promise, so he applied to the army to give him time to obtain a master’s degree before addressing his ROTC obligation of active duty.
In 1957, John earned a MS in cartography just in time as the Army called him to active duty as an instructor in the topographic department at the Corps of Engineers school at Ft Belvoir VA. John was awarded the Army Commendation medal (one of the Army’s highest peace time awards), for his efforts. While an Army career was tempting at that point, the advice of a family friend who was in the printing business prevailed. His advice was to combine John’s ability to sketch a customer’s idea while using perceived sales abilities to sell the printing process.
John was hired in 1959 as a salesman by Webcrafters, Inc., a Madison based printer of soft cover books, where he had a successful career spanning 38 years until retirement in 1997. During that time, John served as head of the Lambda building corporation, and was instrumental in moving the chapter from the old frame house at 156 Langdon, since sold to Alpha Chi Omega and demolished, to a much-improved home on Lake Mendota. Other items of note include 37 years of community activity as an active member of his Rotary club. He is also active with the Veterans Museum, having been an interviewer, a docent and a member of the Foundation. John and his wife of 48 years, Marjunice, have two adult children plus grandkids. Upon retirement, they built a comfortable home on Lake Wisconsin which serves as home base to their many hobbies and community involvements.
Any advice for the undergrads? Based on his experiences, John would suggest not to worry too much if your post grad world doesn’t feel “lined up”. Stay flexible and look for ways to expand your leadership abilities. Organizations love people who know how to make things happen!