News Archive

Randolph College Celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. with Service Featuring Lynchburg Native William A. Johnson, Jr.

Johnson was the first African-American mayor of Rochester, NY

1/16/2012 9:19:08 AM


LYNCHBURG—Lynchburg native William A. Johnson, Jr. will return to Lynchburg Wednesday, January 18 for Randolph College’s Martin Luther King, Jr. service.

Johnson, the first African-American mayor of Rochester, NY, will be the keynote speaker at the annual event which is scheduled at 12:40 p.m. in Houston Memorial Chapel.

Johnson now serves as the Distinguished Professor of Public Policy and Urban Studies in the College of Liberal Arts at the Rochester Institute of Technology. A Dunbar High School graduate, Johnson earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees in political science from Howard University. He became the deputy executive director of the Urban League of Flint in 1971 and became director of the National Urban League’s Vote Registration Project in 1972. He then spent 21 years as the president and CEO of the Urban League of Rochester.

He served as the mayor and chief administrative officer of the City of Rochester from 1994-2005. In 1999, he was recognized as one of the Top 10 Public Officials in America.

Howard University presented him with the Alumni Award for Distinguished Postgraduate Achievement in 2003. The National Urban League presented him with the Whitney M. Young Medallion for Distinguished Service in 1994. And in 2006, the Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at SUNY-Albany presented him with the Distinguished Public Service Awardfor his tenure as Rochester’s Mayor.

Four colleges in the greater Rochester area (the University of Rochester, RIT, St. John Fisher and Keuka) have awarded him honorary doctorates.

Johnson currently he serves as a trustee of the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, the immediate past chairperson of the Howard Wilson Coles Society of the United Way of Greater Rochester,chairperson of the Center for Community Progress in Washington DC and as a board member of the National Industries for the Blind (Alexandria, VA), and Lifetime Care, Inc., Home Health Care and Hospice, in Rochester. He is a mentor and mentor recruiter for the Judicial Process Commission's Faith Community Adult Mentoring Project; an advisory board member of the Kaufman E-initiative at Syracuse University; and an advisory committee member for the African-American Steering Committee to the Alzheimer’s Association.

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CONTACT: Brenda Edson, Director of College Relations