KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Dr. Joe Johnson may be leaving the presidency of the University of Tennessee, but his name will echo across the system in future decades.
The UT Board of Trustees has approved naming or renaming buildings on three campuses after the native Alabamian, whose UT career spanned 38 years, capped by nine years at the helm of the statewide university.
At UT-Memphis, a building formerly called the Faculty Building will be renamed the “Joe and Pat Johnson Building” after Johnson and his wife. Johnson served as chancellor of UT-Memphis from 1971-74.
“You notice we’re not calling it the ‘Joseph and Patricia’ building,” Bill Rice, chancellor at UT-Memphis, told the trustees. “Everyone in Memphis knows them as Joe and Pat.”
In Knoxville, the Institute of Agriculture’s Joseph E. Johnson Animal Research and Teaching Unit will be dedicated in ceremonies on Aug. 23.
“This will serve as a daily reminder of the contributions Joe has made to the teaching and research programs in agriculture and veterinary medicine and to the university at large,” said Dr. Jack Britt, vice president for agriculture.
At UT-Martin, the school’s Engineering-Physical Sciences Bldg. will be renamed for Johnson
“UT Martin has flourished under Dr. Johnson’s leadership as executive vice president and president,” said Dr. Nick Dunagan, UT Martin’s executive vice chancellor. “He was an ardent supporter of our new engineering program and, indeed, our mission of undergraduate education. This naming is well deserved and a lasting tribute to his tremendous leadership.”
In addition to the physical sciences and the university’s three-year-old engineering program, the building is a landmark for pre-health-sciences students possibly bound for UT Memphis, where Johnson was chancellor.