Randolph-Macon College will celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on January 16, 2017 at 12 p.m. in Blackwell Auditorium, R-MC Center for the Performing Arts (205 Henry Street). Dr. Joseph F. Johnson, acting president at Virginia Union University (VUU), will be the keynote speaker. This event is free and open to the public. Map and Directions
R-MC's Ujima Gospel Choir will perform several songs during the celebration. The Ujima Choir is a multicultural organization that enhances unity through worship and praise as it promotes Gospel music throughout the Randolph-Macon and Ashland communities. The choir, which performs at R-MC events throughout the year, is led by alumnus Brandon Owens '14, who serves as the music director and pianist. The current president of the organization is Essence Ellis '18 and staff member LaChelle Lewis '12 serves as advisor for the Ujima Choir.
Dr. Joseph F. Johnson
The Virginia Union University Board of Trustees named Johnson acting president of the University effective July 1, 2016. Prior to his appointment, he was president and lead consultant of TFG: The Flanner Group, which provides sustainable strategies for educational institutions.
Johnson's educational expertise spans more than four decades. He served as senior vice president of VUU from 2011 through 2012. As the senior administrative officer for the university, he supervised the divisions of academic affairs, enrollment management and student affairs, campus police and safety, and research, planning and special programs.
Before joining VUU as senior vice president, Johnson was a senior professor of educational leadership in the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership at Fayetteville State University. He served as dean of the School of Education at Fayetteville State from 1997 through 2002, and from 2004-2006. In addition, he was the 2009-2011 chair of the faculty senate and the 2009-2010 Fayetteville State University Teacher of the Year.
He has also served as the coordinator of the Master of School Administration program and coordinator of the North Carolina Principal Fellows program from 2002-2004, as well as director of the Ed.D. program from 2006-2007.
Johnson has served as either associate or assistant superintendent of schools for several school districts in North Carolina. He has worked as the supervisor of operations and services for an educational consortium among five public school districts in the Richmond, Virginia metropolitan area and has held various leadership positions with Richmond Public Schools over a span of 14 years.
He earned his B.S. in biology from Fayetteville State University; his M.Ed. in science education from Virginia State University; and his certificate of advanced studies in educational administration (C.A.G.S.) and Ed.D. in educational administration from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
About the Program
For many years, Randolph-Macon College has celebrated the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by inviting a distinguished speaker to campus to commemorate King's birthday. Previous speakers have included former Virginia Governor and Mayor L. Douglas Wilder, Pastor and Civil Rights leader Wyatt Tee Walker, former Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones, entrepreneur Shelia Johnson, and Secretary of Commerce and Trade in the Commonwealth of Virginia Maurice Jones.