An integral part of Northern's student success, John Donaldson, Director of Student Support Services (SSS), has been dedicated to Northern for nearly 23 years. Donaldson's personal dedication to education helped him achieve his Bachelor of Science Degree in Recreation from Eastern Illinois University followed by his Master of Science Degree in Guidance Counseling also from EIU.
When asked what drew him to MSU-Northern, Donaldson answered, "I had worked in a couple of community college systems and wanted to try a four year institution. I also had the desire to move to Montana." Little did he know that Northern's charm would win him over and determine his family's home for the following 23 years. Donaldson described his favorite part about working at Northern as, "The people! I enjoy the students and the people working at Northern. They have made it a pleasurable and rewarding experience for me!"
I enjoy the students and the people working at Northern. They have made it a pleasurable and rewarding experience for me!
Donaldson stated that the most satisfying element of his employment at Northern is all wrapped up in his staff and how helpful they are to the student body. He said, "I have wonderful staff members who are good at what they do. They are always ready and available to serve students and are the backbone of the program." Donaldson's top advice for new and prospective students is, "1. Go to class. 2. Do your homework, and hand it in on time. 3. Brown nose the professor. You can do this in college! In other words show the professor that you care. Ask questions. Talk to them, and show them that you are interested in the subjects at hand."
Alongside his own academic achievements and astounding longevity at Northern, Donaldson claimed his most significant achievements as 32 years of marriage and the raising of four kids, which is still unfolding. Donaldson, and his beloved wife Kathy, have a son Luke (31), a daughter Taylor (27), and twin daughters Alex and Katie (13). Donaldson loves spending his free time with his family as well as hunting, fishing, working out, gardening, and watching his twins' sporting events.
Northern extends a heartfelt thank you to John Donaldson for his continued enthusiasm for student success and devotion to the entire Northern family.