Featured Donors - Johnson Family

Honoring devotion

Note: This story was originally published in the Spring 2015 issue of Berry magazine.

Dr. Janna Johnson (81C, FS), lecturer in mathematics and computer science, has devoted the last 30 years to helping Berry students reach their full potential. Last spring her family surprised her by endowing a Gate of Opportunity Scholarship in her name, ensuring that her legacy at Berry continues forever. 

“I was totally shocked and overwhelmed,” said Johnson, who learned of the honor when she walked into what she thought was a meeting and instead found a room full of family and friends. “It took a couple of days for me to process the enormity of what they had done. Berry is such a special place to me. To know that there will be something in my name that will exist beyond my time here is amazing. I appreciate my family’s support and generosity. This gift means so much to me.”

Gate Scholarships offer students who otherwise might not be able to afford a college education the chance to work their way through Berry and graduate debt free. To the Johnson family, it was the perfect honor. 

“Janna is passionate about Berry students,” said brother Jimmie Johnson (85C), who led the effort with wife Jennifer Smith Johnson (85C). “She has had such an impact on students. Knowing that her scholarship will exist forever at Berry is the best feeling of all.”

Johnson joined Berry’s faculty in 1983. In addition to teaching, she is also Berry’s faculty athletic representative and advisor for Athletes Bettering the Community.

Photo by student Lauren Neumann