Giving Back: Truitt Andress, BA '94

United States Army veteran, Truitt Andress, can speak to the value in giving back.

The now retired, 24-year military veteran has led a life of servitude, while still keeping himself involved in his calling, the ministry, even if only now on a part-time basis.

While still enlisted, however, Andress amassed credits from a number of institutions in New Jersey, though never quite finding the time to solidify a degree. “When I came to the end of my military career I wanted to do something different,” he said. “Thomas Edison allowed me to do that, and accepted all of my credits, including some military training, which left me with very little course work left to complete my bachelor’s degree in history.”

After completing his degree in 1994, Andress went on to pursue work in the ministry having earned his master’s degree in divinity in 1999, and being ordained by the Evangelical Church Alliance the same year.

“Without Thomas Edison, I wouldn’t have been able to go on to earn my master’s degree and serve others,” he explained. “An undergraduate degree was required to enter the program, so the ability to finish ultimately allowed me to reach my goals.”

Since being ordained, Andress has served as a pastoral minister for the past 14-years at various Methodist churches in New Jersey, only recently moving to part-time. He also had the unique opportunity, combined with some medical training he received in the Army, to serve as a hospice chaplain.

On giving back not only to others through his work, but also to the University, Andress explained, “We all tend to draw a lot from life and don’t always have the opportunity to give back. Giving back, even minimally, adds up to a major gift over time. I know and hope that my little bit is met 10 times over by so many others who have been given the same unique opportunity I have to fulfill my dreams.”

Andress lives in southern New Jersey with his wife of 45-years, Jean.