John, known to friends as Jody, died Jan. 1, 2023, in Green Bay, Wis., surrounded by his family.

Jody was born in Detroit and grew up in Valparaiso, Ind., where his father was chancellor of Valparaiso University. He graduated from Valparaiso High, where he was president of his class and captain of the baseball team.

At Princeton, he majored in English and was active on the Undergraduate Council and in the Concordia Society. He was a member of Colonial Club and chairman of The Daily Princetonian his senior year. He earned a master’s from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. in sociology and urban affairs from Northwestern. 

Jody was a founder and teacher in the Urban Studies Program of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest. From there he moved to Northwestern University, where he founded and co-directed the Asset-Based Community Development Institute, a program with a powerful influence on community organizing all over the world. His Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding & Mobilizing a Community’s Assets, co-written with John McKnight, influenced activists worldwide.

John is survived by his wife, Ingrid Christiansen; and children Katie and Marcus, to whom the class extends its condolences.

Undergraduate Class of 1966