A Message from Michael J. Harrington, ’85

April 23, 2020

To the Albion College Community:

It is with honor and excitement that I introduce to you the 17th president of Albion College, Dr. Mathew B. Johnson. This is a great day for Albion and I am pleased to tell you why.

When we set about the task of finding a successor for retiring President Mauri Ditzler, I made it clear there would be some requirements for a new president that were non-negotiable. Those included continuing to build the relationship between the community of Albion and the College; maintaining and building on our academic reputation and, equally important, building on the College’s commitment to a more diverse campus that looks more like America.

In Dr. Johnson, we have found all of that and more. And we couldn’t be more proud and pleased that he has accepted the challenge of helping to write Albion’s next chapter.

Dr. Johnson comes to us from Brown University, where he most recently was the associate dean of the College for Engaged Scholarship and senior fellow and executive director of the Howard R. Swearer Center for Public Service. 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. In short, his story is the story of many Albion College students.

He is bright, committed, engaged, driven and someone who was destined to be the president of a college soon. We are fortunate Albion was his choice.

You will learn more about Dr. Johnson as the weeks go by, but suffice it to say that the goal the presidential search committee set for itself was met — and exceeded.

I’d also like to take a moment to thank the committee — which was made up of faculty, alumni, trustees, students and non-alumni community members. Every person on the search committee worked long and hard and under circumstances few could have imagined when the process began. I am grateful for their dedication and devotion to finding the candidate best suited to serve as the next president of our College.

So let me again welcome Dr. Johnson and his partner, Dr. Shannon O’Neill, a remarkable academic mind in her own right. They are the future of Albion College, a future that is bright and limitless and within reach of all.

Michael J. Harrington, ’85
Albion College Trustee
Chair, Presidential Search Committee