John M. Eastman of the Class of 1964 is the recipient of the 2016 Martin de Tours Award. The award is given annually to an alum who is an outstanding citizen, consistently serving the community and demonstrating a commitment to the highest standards in his/her chosen field of endeavor.
In making the announcement, Head of School Merry Sorrells said, "John is an exemplary leader not only in the St. Martin's community, but also in the greater New Orleans area. I know John values the education he received from St. Martin's, and I admire how he feels called to give back to his alma mater and the community."
After graduating from St. Martin's in 1964, Eastman earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Louisiana State University. He served in the United States Army for one year before transitioning to the reserves, where he served for five years.
Eastman is co-owner, with brother Perry '62, of Auto-Chlor Services in Jefferson. Auto-Chlor provides products, equipment, and service for the warewashing, laundry, housekeeping, and floor care markets.
Having served in numerous leadership roles in the community, Eastman is currently on the boards of the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation and the Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) Greater New Orleans Chapter.
Eastman has been recognized by several organizations for his service. The LRA has repeatedly honored him for his outstanding volunteerism and philanthropy. In 2011 the LRA New Orleans Chapter named him Associate Member of the Year. In 2012 Eastman and his brother Perry received the Archie Casbarian Humanitarian Award from the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation.
Passionate about education, Eastman currently serves on the board of the Education Foundation of the National Restaurant Association. Eastman Auto-Chlor scholarships have been established at Louisiana Tech University, Nicholls State University, and Oklahoma State University. Eastman was presented with the Oklahoma State University Hospitality, Restaurant & Tourism Recognition Award in appreciation of his dedication to the program.
Eastman stood out for his athletic accomplishments during his time at St. Martin's. He was All State Football and Track in 1964, had the highest basketball scoring average in the city in 1964, won triple jump and hurdles in the 1964 state meet, and won triple jump in the 1964 Meet of Champions. Eastman also stood out athletically at LSU. He broke the freshman SEC triple jump record in 1965 and was named to the All SEC Track Team in 1966.
In 2007 he was inducted into St. Martin's Athletic Hall of Fame.
Eastman and his wife, Kathy Bannon Eastman, are active members of Trinity Episcopal Church, where he has been involved in a variety of church outreach programs and services. He has also served as a chalice bearer and Eucharistic visitor, and on the Vestry and several committees.
2015 Martin de Tours Award recipient William E. Wright Jr. '67 commented, "I had the pleasure of serving on the Vestry of Trinity Church with John. He was indefatigable in his support of the ministries of the Church and was an inspiration to all of us!"
The Eastmans have two children, John M. Eastman, Jr., and Whitney Eastman Miller, and six grandchildren.
Named for the patron saint of the school, the Martin de Tours Award is St. Martin's highest alumni honor. Martin de Tours is best known for his ability to find God in the simple joys of life. While serving as an officer in the Roman Army, Martin met a shivering beggar at the gates of the city of Amiens in Gaul. Moved with compassion, he divided his cloak into two parts and gave one to the beggar. Martin de Tours exemplified the aspect of service that is valued so highly at St. Martin's Episcopal School.
Past Martin de Tours Award recipients include: Robert L. Livingston, Jr. '60, Sue Ruppel Laudeman '55, Hans A.B. Jonassen '58, Julie Hogue McCollam '52, Gwynne Bowman '59, W. Brooks Emory '60, James O. Gundlach '64, Robert W. Merrick '62, S. Ford Rowan, Jr. '61, Patty Habeeb Muehlemann '65, Carlos Zervigon '57, John M. Girault, Sr. '55, Robert J. "Bobby" Whann III '57, Antonio Cabrales '54, John Gage '59, Peggy Higgins Sewell '68, Betsy Threefoot Kaston '72, Walter E. Blessey, Jr. '62, Donald K. Marshall '68, Cynthia Phillips Schmidt '74, and William E. Wright Jr. '67.