Award Honorees

John Stanoch ‘76


The passion John Stanoch has for law and government began in high school when he participated in the YMCA’s Youth in Government program. “It was a blast for me because I [had an] interest in government, and I met some nice people that I’m friends with to this day,” he said. From learning to draft bills to touring the Minnesota State Capitol, his enthusiasm for law only grew. 


After graduating from Minnetonka High School in 1976, Stanoch attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. He then went on to earn his juris doctor degree from the Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul. 


Stanoch’s career in politics started in 1990 when he was chosen to serve as Rudy Perpich’s campaign manager in his final gubernatorial run. Following that position, he was appointed as a judge on the Minnesota District Court in Hennepin County where he served as a senior judge and later as President of the Minnesota District Judges Association. Stanoch spent his last years on the bench serving the juvenile population. After retiring as a full-time judge, Stanoch served as Minnesota Deputy Attorney General under then Attorney General Mike Hatch. 


Stanoch’s career took a sharp turn as he headed into the forprofit sector. He accepted a position as President of Qwest Communications International Inc. for Minnesota and North Dakota. “That was probably the most unusual career turn for me, because I was trained as a lawyer,” said Stanoch. “It stretched my skills and required me to up my game.” By the time he left Qwest, the company had $1.4 billion in revenue. 


Once again, Stanoch’s career took a sharp turn as he headed into the nonprofit sector, serving as President and CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Upper Midwest. “It really spoke to me, because I believed in the mission of helping provide comfort to families who are experiencing a life threatening illness or a serious injury that happens to their child,” he said. 


Reflecting on his time growing up in the Minnetonka area, Stanoch remembered the teachers who made an impact on his life. “They always saw potential and encouraged me. They said that I could do whatever I wanted to do,” he shared. 


Giving advice to today’s students, Stanoch said, “When you move forward with your life, when you move forward with your career and you experience success and failure, remember the people who helped you along the way, and reach out and help others.”


Read More

David Gartner

Inducted into the Faculty Hall of Fame on September 23, 2023.

Earl Christ

Inducted into the Faculty Hall of Fame on September 23, 2023.

Bill Keeler

Inducted into the Faculty Hall of Fame on September 24, 2022.