Joe ’79 and Martha ’81 Andreski

Joe ’79 and Martha ’81 Andreski

Jersey Generous

Joe ’79 and Martha ’81 Andreski have lived in eight U.S. states. But their enduring connection to the place they grew up — and to Seton Hall — led them to fund a new student scholarship.

The first time Joe met Martha, he was supposed to sell her on Seton Hall.

He was 19 years old and a graduate of Rahway High School in New Jersey, where his mom worked as a secretary and Martha’s mom had been his guidance counselor. Martha had been thinking about moving away for college and Joe was majoring in finance at nearby Seton Hall. Her mom hoped that talking to Joe might change her mind.

“I told her it was a good school with very strong programs and a strong reputation, and she could still be home every night,” Joe remembered.

But there was something else, too. “I just thought, ‘This is the most mature guy I have ever met,’” Martha said. “He just seemed to have focus in his life. He was so definitive about what he wanted to do and where he wanted to be.”

Martha not only wound up at Seton Hall; she also married Joe several years later. Now the Andreskis are celebrating a 39-year marriage, running a successful wine shop in South Carolina, and planning to help other teens in Union County attend Seton Hall through a scholarship fund.

As University students, the Andreskis worked long hours at outside jobs: Joe at a men’s clothing store, Martha as a waitress at Howard Johnson’s. While Joe took classes in business and accounting, Martha majored in secondary education and studied science. They commuted to campus from their parents’ homes in Union County.

Joe quickly found an accounting job after graduation, and over the next 27 years, his work in finance took the Andreskis to eight different states. Meanwhile, Martha taught high school science — and as a result of their many moves, became certified to teach in 10 states.

But it’s their new chapter as wine shop owners that the Andreskis are focused on now. When Joe’s job as CFO for the Australian wine company Southcorp landed them in the Napa Valley in 2002, they got “seriously into wine,” Joe said. In 2006, they moved to Charleston, South Carolina, and two years later, opened The Wine Cellar in nearby Mount Pleasant.

In the decade since, they’ve built a thriving business that Joe said brought his daily stress level “down from 95 to, like, 1.” Inspired by what they experienced in Napa, they sell wines by the glass as well as by the bottle. They also run about a hundred weekend tastings a year and have created a wine club that introduces customers to new varietals and flavors.

The Andreskis travel often — “it’s probably our biggest hobby,” Martha said. They make it a point to check out vineyards when they do. In 2017, they spent two months exploring Europe by car. It’s a life they couldn’t have envisioned as kids: Joe’s dad left school after eighth grade and worked in a warehouse; Martha’s parents came to America as immigrants after being ousted from Poland during World War II and sent to the Soviet gulags in Siberia for two years.

“Seton Hall did us right,” Joe said. That’s why he and Martha decided, through an estate commitment, to set up a scholarship fund for students from Rahway High School, David Brearley High School in Kenilworth (Martha’s alma mater), and other Union County schools to attend Seton Hall.

“I spent 32 years teaching, and in that time, I met students who are so smart, but for a variety of reasons, aren’t able to go to college,” Martha said. “The more scholarships there are out there — the more we can help those kids.”

At a Glance: Bequests

  • Charitable bequests are made by naming Seton Hall as a beneficiary in your will or living trust. This type of gift does not affect your cash flow.
  • Your assets remain in your control during your lifetime. You can modify your gift at any time should circumstances change.
  • You can direct your gift to the area of Seton Hall’s mission that is most meaningful to you.
  • We can provide you with model bequest language and will work with you on the details.