Mac Johnson – a mentor to Roanoke students for decades

McMillan "Mac" Johnson '70 has retired after more than 37 years of service to his alma mater. Johnson first returned to Roanoke as assistant dean of students and is best known for his work as vice president of student affairs. Most recently, Johnson was a special advisor to President Michael Maxey.  

Johnson helped to found  the College's Outdoor Adventures program, which now is a vital organization and offers popular activities  for students, faculty and staff. An avid hiker himself, Johnson, who is known on the trail as Mac-Daddy, often led student hikes and backpacking trips. In recognition of his service to Roanoke and the impact he made to generations of students, the College has named the program The McMillan "Mac" and Marcy Johnson Outdoor Adventures Program.

Mac Johnson portraitUnder his leadership, Johnson led the College to grow Roanoke's athletic program, and the Maroons added three varsity teams: women's soccer, softball and baseball.

Johnson was picked by the Brackety-Ack as the most effective administrator in 1986. For many years, he served as an advisor to the Student Government Association, after having once been student body president himself.

As vice president of student affairs, he helped oversee the renovation of Sections and other residence halls and many other expansions of the student affairs program. In 2012, he received the Student Affairs Legacy Award from the Virginia Association of School Personnel Administrators for his lifetime achievement in student affairs.

By far, Johnson's  most significant accomplishment was his  decades of service to the student community, as a mentor, advisor and friend to legions of Roanoke students and alumni.

Mac Johnson as RC studentJohnson is a native of Gainesville, Fla.,  who first came to Roanoke College as a student. He earned many distinctions while he was a student, including being named a member of the  Blue Key national honor fraternity and serving as an officer with the  Sigma Chi fraternity and as president of the student body. Johnson earned an athletic letter as a member of the Maroons men's tennis team.  He graduated from Roanoke College cum laude in 1970 with a degree in psychology, and earned a master's degree in education from Virginia Tech in 1976.

Johnson and his wife, Marcy, are  parents to a daughter, Paige, and son, Houston, who also is a Roanoke College graduate and a former Student Government Association president, as well.

Last fall, the Roanoke College Board of Trustees recognized his decades of leadership and service to Roanoke students by giving him the designation of vice president of student affairs emeritus.

Released: February 26, 2014
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