Tallahassee, FL. – A special campus monument honoring the late Leonard W. Johnson, the founder and director of Spruce Medical Center in Philadelphia, who served as President of the Florida A&M University (FAMU) National Alumni Association from 1970 -1980, will be unveiled as part of FAMU’s 2007 Homecoming celebration.
The unveiling is scheduled for Friday, November 2, at 9 a.m., on the west side of Jones Hall (science building) on FAMU’s campus. Johnson spent much of his college life in Jones Hall studying as a biology and chemistry major.
Johnson, a renowned and beloved physician, healthcare educator, mentor and humanitarian, was one of FAMU’s most distinguished graduates and most loyal supporters. During the 1970s, in the midst of desegregation in America, FAMU was threatened with merger with neighboring Florida State University (FSU). Benjamin L. Perry, Jr., FAMU’s sixth president, spearheaded a successful and highly strategic campaign to keep FAMU operating as a separate education entity. As the newly elected president of FAMU’s National Alumni Association, Johnson was one of Perry’s most prized generals and is credited for rallying and organizing FAMU alumni, economic supporters and political allies nationwide.
“In an era when white folks expected blacks to be deferential, Johnson never held back in expressing his contempt for the people and policies that relegated FAMU to the back of the higher education bus for so long,” proclaimed Eddie Jackson, FAMU’s former vice president of University Relations.
Johnson not only played a pivotal role in the first fight to save FAMU, he continued to financially support, recruit students, and contribute to the University in a variety of ways. He helped establish the Philadelphia Chapter and FAMU’s Northeast Alumni Association chapters, which are today some of the University’s largest and strongest alumni chapters.
The unveiling ceremony will include tributes from President Ammons, FAMU’s National Alumni Association, the Philadelphia NAA and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. A special salute will be presented by FAMU’s Music Department and a mini exhibition by the Meek-Eaton Black Archives will also be on display.
President James H. Ammons and the FAMU National Alumni Association invite all FAMUans and the entire community to come and pay tribute to this great Rattler. For more information, contact Carmen Cummings-Martin at (850) 599-3707.
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