After a semester-long search, the Albion College Board of Trustees has appointed Dr. Mathew B. Johnson as the college’s 17th president.
Johnson will officially step into his role as Albion’s next president on July 1. A trained sociologist, Johnson has extensive knowledge in community engagement and comes to Albion with a passion for giving students an engaging, enriching experience in their higher education.
Johnson has spent the past five years of his career at Brown University, serving most recently as associate dean of the college for engaged scholarship, senior fellow and executive director of the Howard R. Swearer Center for Public Service.
On Dec. 3, 2019, former Albion College President Dr. Mauri Ditzler announced his plans to retire from his role as president at the conclusion of the 2019-20 academic year. After this announcement, the national search for Ditzler’s successor began.
“I know that this college is going to be an exciting, joyful, successful place next fall and in 10 years and in 20 years,” said Ditzler in his retirement message. “And so for me, as I think about the transition, I think with joy about all the things we’ve done rather than thinking about the things that I won’t get to do with this campus.”
The search process was led by Michael J. Harrington (‘85), a member of the Board of Trustees as well as the search committee chair, and Joey Miller (‘75), also a member of the Board of Trustees and the search committee vice chair. Upon their recommendation, the college utilized Storbeck Pimentel & Associates for aid in the search for its next president.
The main objective of the search was to find an individual who would be able to lead the college and its students in the continuation of its mission. With an all encompassing, liberal arts education, the college strives to prepare all students to not only think critically, but to be able to put their thoughts into action.
During the four month search for the new president, nearly 100 candidates were considered for the position, and Johnson was chosen as the most able individual to help the college succeed in its mission.
“He is bright, committed, engaged, driven and someone who was destined to be the president of a college soon,” said Harrington in an announcement sent out to the Albion College community. “We are fortunate Albion was his choice.”
Albion College plans to continue the countless successes that Ditlzer put into action these past six years since he was named president in 2014. Under Johnson’s leadership, Albion’s goal is to not only build upon what the college already does well, but to create new directions to succeed in as well.
“There’s a thirst in the faculty I’ve met for a renaissance of the curriculum,” said Johnson. “I want to create an ecosystem where the faculty feels supported and valued and challenged to innovate the liberal arts.”
With Johnson as president, the college plans to go forth with the promise of three words in mind: Boldness, tenacity and courage.
“A first-generation college student, he grew up on a farm in upstate New York, raised under modest means, and fell in love with the concept of ideas,” said Harrington. “In short, his story is the story of many Albion College students.”