Martin Wilson ’77CBA

Martin Wilson ’77CBA

Proud of St. John’s Roots Alumnus Maintains Close Ties to Alma Mater

By the time Martin Wilson ’77CBA arrived at St. John’s University, he already had a deep attachment to the institution. His father, Martin J. Wilson, Jr. ’52CBA, and several other family members had attended the school, and its first campus was in Brooklyn, NY, where he originally lived.

Today, Mr. Wilson is retired after more than 40 years in sales in three distinct industries: small appliances, consumer electronics, and telecom. His first job was an entry-level sales position with Hamilton Beach Brands, Inc., working in the New York–New Jersey area. After a promotion, he relocated to Atlanta, GA, and has been there ever since. His longest stay with one company was for 15 years with telecommunications company Ericsson, eventually serving as Vice President of Sales and Business Development.

Intensely proud of his St. John’s roots, Mr. Wilson has been heavily involved in alumni activities since graduation and has been an active member of the St. John’s University’s Atlanta Alumni Chapter, of which he is currently President. “Our leadership team initiated an endowed scholarship for a Georgia student to receive financial support while attending St. John’s, and we have conducted several service projects supporting the St. Vincent de Paul Society Georgia.

The recipient of a track scholarship, Mr. Wilson stressed that the University helped him become a good citizen of the world. “My professors continued the work of my parents and grandparents, instilling in me values that served me well throughout my life,” he said, adding that he was able to thrive both academically and in athletics.

A Marketing major, Mr. Wilson recalled his professors in the College of Business Administration (now The Peter J. Tobin College of Business) had “high-level, real-world experience that they shared generously with students. Those lessons were critical when I encountered complex situations during my career.”  

Many of his fellow students were the first in their families to attend college and held down part-time jobs in addition to their studies. “It created a stronger appreciation and work ethic that followed through to our careers,” he said.

Mr. Wilson was particularly inspired by the late Joseph A. Keating ’35CBA, Professor of Accounting and Taxation, who taught his father 25 years earlier. “While I always planned to go into sales, Prof. Keating encouraged me to take all of my electives in accounting, which proved very helpful in my sales career.”

“Great professors, a family-oriented campus life, global opportunities, a business school with an unparalleled reputation, coupled with proximity to the culture and internship opportunities in New York City, make St. John’s the total package,” he said.