I chose Rutgers-Camden for two reasons: as a Camden resident, I could remain close to home and I could earn a college degree without being a financial burden to my family. I was the first in my family to attend college. Between that and twelve years of attending parochial school, I knew it would be important to go to a school whose teachers knew everyone’s names and took the time to get to know their students. And I was right – Rutgers-Camden’s small size and caring faculty helped me grow not only as a student but also as a person.
Besides my studies, I played both basketball and baseball at Rutgers-Camden. Since we did not have our own facilities, we played at venues such as the RCA building, the Armory, and the Palestra. One thing I really admired about the coaches was that they cared about your education as much as the professors did. The coaches of both my teams would keep tabs on our grades and help us if we struggled. Both the coaches and professors expected us to succeed. Between the rigor of the classes and the commitment to two sports, I became pretty disciplined and well-rounded, traits that helped me to succeed in business. The campus environment was friendly and there was camaraderie among the students, faculty, and staff – a feeling that still exists today.
I graduated from Rutgers in 1959. I’m still connected to this campus in many ways. I participate in reunions, homecomings, and other special events. In 2009, I was inducted into the Rutgers Athletic Hall of Fame, and returned last year to watch my classmate Fran Dickson be installed. I have never felt apart from the school, and believe once a Rutgers-Camden student, always a Rutgers-Camden student. I really felt this on my fiftieth anniversary of graduating from Rutgers-Camden, when I was asked to wear a cap and gown and lead the College of Arts and Sciences commencement ceremonies with my other classmates.
My advice to anyone who is considering Rutgers-Camden is to look at the environment and character of the school. Look at these remarkable professors who have always took an interest in their students. Look at the friendliness, the heart of this school. Look at the results.
Mr. Bretschneider is a CCAS ’59 graduate who, before he retired in 2010, worked for Ross Perot at Perot Systems Incorporated. For a majority of his thirteen years there, Mr. Bretschneider was the top salesperson and traveled the world as he managed an extensive roster of international clients. He is a member of the Rutgers-Camden Hall of Fame for Athletics in two sports – baseball and basketball. Mr. Bretschneider has stayed active in many community and youth organizations throughout South Jersey, like the Haddon Township Athletic Association, the Jaycees, which recognized him with the Distinguished Service Award, and the Haddon Township Board of Education, which he served on for thirteen years.
About Joseph Bretschneider
Hometown: Collingswood, NJ
Camden College of Arts and Sciences Major: General Social Sciences
Camden College of Arts and Sciences Graduation Date: 1959