Columbia athletics

Columbia Athletics mourns recent death of John T. Garnjost ’56CC,’ 61BUS


NEW YORK – Columbia Athletics mourns the recent passing of John T. Garnjost ’56CC,’ 61BUS, who passed away peacefully on January 5, 2021.

Garnjost was a college student-athlete at Columbia, as a member of the Columbia Heavyweight Crew from 1954 to 1956. He would eventually become a respected rowing official. He was awarded the prestigious Olympic Order from the International Olympic Committee for his outstanding merit in the cause of world sport, especially for his work in Taiwan.

The Olympic Order is “the supreme individual honor bestowed. It was created in 1974 and must be awarded to anyone who has exemplified the Olympic ideal by his or her action, obtained remarkable merit in the world of sport or rendered exceptional service. personal achievement or contribution to the development of the sport. “Garnjost, at the time, was only the 53rd American to receive this honor. He was profiled by Columbia College today by receiving this prestigious award.

“Although John was recognized around the world for his skills as a referee at the World Championships and the Olympics,” said Columbia’s light rowing head coach. Nich lee parker. “He always found the time to give back to Columbia and the three rowing programs.

“I was fortunate enough to meet John when our 2018 team secured the right to represent Columbia at the Henley Royal Regatta. He found a way to be there and took time out of his busy schedule to meet the ‘team and remind them that the success of each crew is part of the larger story of our university, which has had a great impact on the team. John will be missed, not only at Columbia, but by the entire community of the rowing.

From 1970 to 1999, Garnjost was a FISA Approved International Rowing Official and officiated in the United States and abroad. He officiated at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 and in 2000 he received the John Carlin Award from the US Rowing. In 2003, Garnjost received the George Shiebler Award from the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference, and in 2013 he received the Dick Alcock Award for 50 years of service and dedication to American rowing.

After graduating from Columbia College in 1956, Garnjost served as a US Air Force pilot from 1956 to 1959 and served in Japan and Taiwan. Returning to Columbia for business school after serving in the military, he eventually spent 24 years working at the Bristol-Myers Company Headquarters in New York City, before becoming Managing Director of the Bristol-Myers Company. , Malaysia, and Chairman and CEO. In Taiwan.

Garnjost is survived by his wife Janet, 47, and daughters Alison Garnjost of Savannah, Ga. And Valerie Garnjost (Matthew Lacy) of Bluffton, SC