Robert H. and Janet C. Buescher of Massapequa (Long Island), NY, were honored Sunday, December 6, 2009 with the Soli Deo Gloria Award for distinguished service to The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP). Making the presentation at the seminary’s annual Advent Vespers Dinner were Dr. Robert Blanck, who chairs the LTSP Foundation Board, and the Rev. Dr. John Richter, chair of the LTSP Board of Trustees.
at left: LTSP Board Member The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Krommes, LTSP Board Chair The Rev. Dr. John Richter, Robert Buescher, Janet Buescher, LTSP Foundation Board Chair Dr. Robert Blanck, Esq., LTSP President The Rev. Dr. Philip D.W. Krey
In presenting the award, Blanck noted Robert Buescher’s contributions to the school as an initial member of the seminary’s President’s Council, formed in the early 1990s, and as a member of the LTSP Foundation Board, begun in the mid-1990s. Buescher, he said, played a key role in managing the seminary’s investment portfolio and also leading fund-raising efforts for the school. He praised Janet Buescher for her advocacy on behalf of the school, her personal stewardship through the management of a foundation, and for her sponsorship of events promoting the school to prospective and current donors.
Robert Buescher, an electrical engineer and chartered financial analyst, graduated from the College of Engineering of the University of Missouri. Career highlights have included serving as Project Manager at General Electric’s Space and Electronics Division, Director of Engineering for Litton Industries’ Maryland Division, and General Manager of Fairchild Industries’ Electronics Division. During the later stages of his career he served as Partner for Bessemer Venture Partners, a national firm that has provided financing to numerous small businesses, spawning scores of successful national companies. In addition to his volunteer role to the seminary as an investment advisor and in fund-raising, Robert Buescher is treasurer for the Metropolitan New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and has co-chaired a capital funds campaign for the University of Missouri’s College of Engineering. He is a past chair of the Nassau Symphony (Symphony of Long Island).
Janet Buescher directs the Robert H. and Janet C. Buescher Foundation, benefactor for many organizations, including the seminary, Dowling College in Oakdale, NY (from which she graduated in 1973 with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Business Management), Winthrop-University Hospital and WLIW (Channel 21). Her volunteer posts have included Master Gardener with the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County, and instructor of religion and member of the Christian Growth Committee at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Seaford, Long Island, New York. Both Robert and Janet sing in Our Redeemer’s choir.
In accepting the Soli Deo Gloria Award, Robert Buescher said, “We don’t really think we deserve it, but thanks be to God. We’ve been blessed more abundantly than we ever could have imagined when we were married 57 years ago. What we have done is a feeble attempt to respond to the love of God.” Buescher cited the words of the Apostle Paul in II Timothy that all are “called not to good works but to God’s own purpose. To God alone is the glory.”
Janet Buescher recalled her days years ago as a confirmation teacher when the lessons urged classes to consider the role of seminaries, and no one around her understood anything about them. She urged those in the room to encourage those they know to become more familiar with the schools that train their pastors.
Invited to speak on behalf of the Bueschers, the Rev. Gary Mills offered remarks. He is the assistant to the Bishop of the Metropolitan New York Synod in the area of Global and Multicultural Mission.
“Tonight I think of the great gifts and the surprising example of the Bueschers’ Christ-like humanity and how they have broken into our lives in support of the church, their synod and seminary,” Mills said. “They invite each of us by their example into a more personal relationship with Christ. They have always been concerned about the betterment of all they’ve been called to serve.” He cited Robert Buescher’s role as synod treasurer and the couple’s support of struggling congregations, along with the advice they have accorded to lay leaders and pastors and their work on behalf of the seminary.
You'll find more about the Advent Vespers here.