The Cameron University Foundation is pleased to announce the establishment of the Albert Johnson, Sr. and Josephine Johnson Endowed Lectureship in Social Change, which has been made possible by a generous donation from Albert Sr. and Josephine Johnson of Lawton.
The Johnsons have established the Albert Johnson Sr. and Josephine Johnson Endowed Lectureship in Social Change with the intent that proceeds be used to the advance the study of social justice, racial and ethnic cultures and human interaction. It is their wish that the endowment be put to use “working for the betterment of all.” The endowment will provide funds that may be utilized to bring distinguished lecturers and workshops to the campus in areas of social change; to support faculty development and instructional support to improve teaching techniques in areas of civil rights, inclusion versus division, and social justice; to support scholarly activities that explore the dynamics of criminal justice, racial and ethnic cultures and mores as well as the impact of desegregation in America; and to support the purchase of unique capabilities to aid faculty and students in providing services to the community that support a better understanding of the social changes that continue in America. It will encourage innovative engagements with students in teaching, study, research and internship activities. Students are to be the primary focus of the activities supported by this lectureship.
Longtime residents of Lawton, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have devoted great time and energy to the Lawton/Fort Sill community. They are dedicated supporters of Cameron University. In addition to belonging to President’s Partners, they made a “Triple Crown” donation toward the McMahon Centennial Complex in 2007. Mr. Johnson has served on the Board of Directors of the Cameron University Foundation and was also a member of the university’s Centennial Commission. He has been recognized for his support of Cameron University with the CU Distinguished Service Award.
A graduate of Douglass High School in Lawton, Albert Johnson Sr. began his lengthy career as an educator in 1950 after earning degrees from Winston-Salem State Teachers College and the University of Oklahoma. He returned to Douglass in Lawton as a classroom teacher and then became an elementary school principal in 1954 and high school principal 10 years later.
Johnson was pivotal to the success of Lawton’s school desegregation process in the mid-1960s. He continued his career as a school administrator in Lawton from 1966 until his retirement in 1994, directing a variety of programs before serving as assistant superintendent for 11 years and deputy superintendent for the final six years of his education career. In 2006, he was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy.
Following his retirement, he devoted himself to continuing to improve the community, volunteering for countless community projects, such as working with local youth choirs, coaching in Lawton’s city recreational programs and supervising the YMCA’s summer day camp.
Jo Johnson, a native of North Carolina, came to Lawton in 1954 to run the black United Service Organizations (USO) in what is now the Patterson Community Center. She worked for USO and for the Armed Services YMCA until 1979, when she went to work at Fort Sill, setting up an outreach program for military spouses. After retiring in 1988, she was active in full-time volunteer work for many years. She has served on the boards of Quality Enterprise of Lawton Inc., McMahon Auditorium Authority, Lawton Food Bank, Salvation Army and Mobile Meals. She has also served as an elder at Boulevard Church and was a long-time member of the Oklahoma State Council on Aging.
Mrs. Johnson was also a charter member of the Lawton chapter of the League of Women Voters. She has served on the advisory board of the Taliaferro Community Mental Health Center, helped establish the Helen Holliday Home for Alcoholic Women, and was the first woman and the first member of a minority group named to the Lawton Metropolitan Area Planning Commission.
Future contributions to the initial scholarship fund by the donors, families, civic, fraternal and social
organizations and friends are encouraged and accepted under the lectureship, name and purpose. To support this and other Cameron University Foundation endowments, contact the CU Office of University Advancement at 581-2999.
February 27, 2018