Jon Steiner '63

Distinguished Alumni Citation

Jon Steiner is a retired educator, humanitarian, photographer and adventure traveler.

Steiner’s B.A. in French from Willamette University included a year of study at the Sorbonne.

He earned an M.A. in French literature from the University of Kansas, and was granted a Fulbright Exchange to Morocco.

Throughout his 40 years of teaching, Steiner instilled a sense of appreciation for other cultures in his students both in the classroom and through numerous homestay exchanges in France. He founded Echanges France Amerique du Nord in order to facilitate travel and exchanges for his colleagues nationwide.

Steiner served as advisor to the Willamette chapter of Beta Theta Pi for many years and was named director of volunteer development at the fraternity’s administrative office in Ohio.

In retirement, backpacking and backroad travel around the world led Steiner to life-changing encounters and humanitarian opportunities. Meeting impoverished students with seemingly impossible dreams, he acted to help them realize their potential. When his personal resources were insufficient, he formed a nonprofit, Water and Education Care International. In addition to supporting secondary and university students, WE Care now plans community water projects in western Kenya, where drought and contaminated water often lead to outbreaks of cholera and typhoid.