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Friday, March 21, 2014


Richard Johnson

BRADFORD, Pa. – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Alumni Association will honor Richard Johnson ’88-’90 as the recipient of the Alumni Award of Distinction.

The award will be presented Friday, April 25, by Dr. Livingston Alexander, university president, and Chris Napoleon, PBAA president and president and chief engineer of Napoleon Engineering Services.

“Rich Johnson’s extraordinary commitment to Pitt-Bradford and his longstanding dedication to serving our larger community are truly exceptional. The PBAA has made an excellent choice,” Alexander said. “As a devoted champion for the arts and for excellence in cultural programming, here on our campus and across the region, Rich has inspired countless community members of all ages. He truly exemplifies the meaning of the Alumni Award of Distinction. ”

Johnson was nominated by Terri Leven ’69-’71, who has worked with Johnson on the Pitt-Bradford Arts Council, of which he is chairman.

“His support to the university is endless,” Leven wrote in her nomination. “His loyalty to the university shines above many and is remarkable.”

A patron of the arts, he is a past member of the Bradford Creative and Performing Arts Center’s board of directors. Johnson has also given generously of his time and talent to a variety of organizations and boards. He is a member of the Bradford Rotary Club, of which he is a former treasurer and to which he has made donations to contribute to the eradication of polio. He is the chairman of the board of directors of Futures Rehabilitation Inc. and serves on the boards of CARE for Children and the Bradford Salvation Army.

In addition to his work as chairman of the Pitt-Bradford Arts Council, he is a member of the Pitt-Bradford Advisory Board and its executive and buildings and grounds committees.

In 2005, he created the Richard S. Johnson Endowment Fund for the arts to provide enjoyment and cultural enrichment for the campus community as well as the public from the surrounding region, by providing funds for a wide range of arts-related events in the region. He has also endowed the Richard S. Johnson Arts Scholarship Fund.

He is a member of the Brackenridge Circle at the University of Pittsburgh, which was established in 2010 to honor the inspiring generosity and vision of donors whose planned gifts and pledges to the university total $1 million or more.

Johnson earned his Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J., and his Master of Business Administration degree from Farleigh Dickinson University in Hackensack, N.J. In the late 1980s, he took courses in computer science at Pitt-Bradford.

He spent his professional life working in the petroleum industry as an engineer and manager for Exxon and Quaker State, which brought him to Farmers Valley, where he became plant manager of what would become the Petrowax refinery there.

Candidates for the Alumni Award of Distinction must have attended Pitt-Bradford, but may have graduated from other institutions. Candidates are evaluated based on their level of professional achievement and service to the community. Any member of the Pitt-Bradford community, including alumni, faculty, staff, administration, students and advisory board members, may submit nominations.

Previous honorees have been Tamra Minnier ’81, Dr. Lee Colosimo ’65-’67 and Dr. Jill Owens ’93.

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