Alumni Tale: John Marshall ‘87

What did you study at UNH?

Business Administration

What were you doing one year out of college?

At the start of my final year at UNH, I knew business administration wasn’t for me so I begged my way into every senior level film class that the school offered. After graduation, I moved to Los Angeles to become a screenwriter.

What were you doing five years out of college?

Five years after arriving in Los Angeles, after selling a few scripts that never got produced, my wife and I found out we were going to have our first child. So, we traded the crazy smog-gang-madness of L.A. for a chance to raise a family in Maine. I was still writing but waiting tables to pay the bills.

What were you doing 10 years out of college?

Ten years out I started working in the TV business. Nothing big at first. I was doing short comedy bits for the evening news and hosting a local kids show. It would eventually lead to bigger things, but you have to start somewhere

What are you doing now?

I was the creative services director at several Maine TV stations for years before I sold my first book. It’s a memoir called “Wide-Open World” and it’s being published by Random House, Feb. 2015. It’s about the world trip I took with my wife and two teenage kids where we volunteered our way from country to country. I’m also launching an organization called New Orphanage that seeks to find and fund the best orphan projects worldwide. For anyone interested, you can learn more at

How do you feel your time at UNH has had an impact on where you are today?

I worked hard at UNH. It taught me both what I wanted and what I did not want for my life. Honesty, I wish I could go back and have a bit more fun…but we all make our choices. I stayed in my dorm during Spring Break my senior year writing a novel that was total crap. But I loved the process and have never looked back. UNH was where it all began.