Dr. Joseph S. Johnson, Jr. Endowed Scholarship

A conversation with Sam Johnson.

Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
I want this scholarship to promote educational opportunities for people in Alabama to improve economic prosperity for the individual and, by extension, the community, state, and nation. This scholarship demonstrates the core value of giving back and I hope it will instill that value in the recipients and others.

What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
Dr. Joseph S. Johnson, Jr. (1851-1899) was born in Chambers County, Ala. His parents died soon after he was born. He was raised by his uncle in Chilton County, AL. He was taught the importance of education and was a successful example. He believed in education and sustainable economic growth and instilled those core values in his family. Those core values continue to guide his descendants and are the motivation for this scholarship.

Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
I attended Auburn because of the quality of the College of Engineering. I was at Auburn for nine years as an undergraduate student, graduate student, and member of the faculty. During that time I experienced firsthand Auburn’s work ethic and saw that it sets Auburn apart from other schools. Later in my corporate life, Auburn graduates hired by the corporation where I worked would, on average over time, perform better than other graduates, in part because of their work ethic. My coworkers would frequently provide that type of unsolicited feedback, because they knew I went to Auburn and were looking for confirmation of their observations.

What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
I hope the recipients gain an appreciation for education, work ethic, and giving back to promote sustainable economic growth going forward.