Meet Alumnus of the Year – Robert Zawoysky
When Robert Zawoysky (’67) stepped foot onto Bethel’s campus he was an aspiring music major. But after realizing he didn’t “want to spend the rest of his life in practice buildings,” he changed his major and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature.
Zawoysky went on to earn a Master of Arts in Journalism from Michigan State University, and he became a founding partner at Masterworks Inc., a marketing firm specializing in serving nonprofit organizations across North America. In this role he’s worked with more than 50 organizations, including: World Vision, Prison Fellowship, Campus Crusade for Christ, Food for the Hungry and Focus on the Family.
Zawoysky is an elder in the Presbyterian Church and is active in his local congregation, Cross Sound Church of Bainbridge Island, Wash. He also serves on the board of directors of Taproot Theatre Company in Seattle, Wash., and the Church Planting Network in Mexico City, Mexico. In addition, he still finds time to pursue his musical calling; he has served as choir director and organist at six different churches over a period of 30 years.
Zawoysky’s most recent accomplishment is being honored as Bethel’s Alumnus of the Year — a recognition awarded to outstanding alumni who demonstrate Bethel’s values in both personal and professional life.
“I think that since Bethel is a faith-based institution, I’ve been lucky enough over the years to work with a bunch of different faith-based organizations,” says Zawoysky of carrying out Bethel’s values. “It’s been a privilege to work with Feed the Hungry and Campus Crusade. I’ve been very privileged to really have a career that focuses on faith-based organizations.”
And Zawoysky gives God the glory.
“First and foremost, success comes from God,” he says. “We are not worthy, nor are we skilled enough to do anything without God’s help. I’ve been privileged that He uses a vessel like me to do good in this world.”
Bethel also played a significant role in his success.
“Bethel gave me a real picture of what I enjoy doing,” says Zawoysky, a former Beacon editor. “I really didn’t realize that I was a halfway decent writer until I came to Bethel — both through classes and through my experience as Beacon editor.”
Being the Beacon editor during the “tumultuous ’60s” afforded Zawoysky the opportunity to “explore issues and express opinions that weren’t really mainstream” at the time.
Now, more than 40 years later, Zawoysky continues to maintain relationships he began at Bethel. But, perhaps the biggest lesson he’s taken away from his tenure at Bethel is this: “Instead of being told that you can’t do [something], I was told that you really can do more than what you think you can do.”