Joe Johnson

Remembering Joe Johnson

Former University of Tennessee President Joseph E. “Joe” Johnson (’60, ’68) passed away on September 29, 2023, at the age of 90.

Johnson was UT System president from 1990 to 1999 and interim president from 2003 to 2004.

He worked more than 50 years at the university and was known for his popularity with the UT Alumni Association and his acumen as a fundraiser and advocate.

He was mentored by longtime presidents Andy Holt and Ed Boling, and he is considered the architect of the UT System structure, created in 1968.

“Dr. Johnson was the embodiment of the University of Tennessee,” said UT System President Randy Boyd. “UT would not be the great institution it is today without the leadership, vision, and compassion for people that Dr. Johnson so eloquently had. This is a tremendous loss for our university system, but an even greater loss to the state of Tennessee.”

Read more about the life and career of President Johnson here.

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