Dr. Neil and Mrs. Marilyn Johnson

Both the Dr. Neil and Mrs. Marilyn Johnson Scholarship and the Neil Johnson Excellence in Community Health Award are funded from the Dr. Neil and Mrs. Marilyn Johnson Scholarship endowment.

Dr. Johnson retired from SUNY Potsdam in 2000 after more than 35 years of service as a professor, department chair, wrestling coach and director of operations for the Maxcy Hall athletics complex. Among his many accomplishments, Dr. Johnson has received the SUNYAC Distinguished Service Award in 2011 and was named an honorary alumnus of SUNY Potsdam and is a member of the SUNY Potsdam Sports Hall of Fame and the New York State Coaches Hall of Fame (he coached 13 All-Americans in his career). He is a recipient of a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service and a President’s Award for Excellence in Public Service.  He also established the PEP Center, renamed the Shane T. Shaul Memorial Fitness Center, located on the third floor of Maxcy Hall. In 2011, Dr. Johnson received the SUNYAC Distinguished Service Award, an honor that has been awarded to only two other SUNY Potsdam faculty: Dr. Sam Molnar and Coach Jerry Welsh.

Mrs. Johnson was a physical education instructor at Clarkson University for 20 years, where she also served as director of women’s athletics. She coached volleyball from 1975 to 1991, Alpine skiing from 1985 to 1990 and Nordic skiing from 1985 to 1993. For many years during her coaching career, Mrs. Johnson’s Alpine and Nordic ski teams competed in national championships, usually placing in the top ten. Also, several of her volleyball teams qualified for New York State championships. In addition to coaching, she also served on local, state and national committees.

Dr. and Mrs. Johnson remain very active in retirement: In 2001 Dr. Johnson was a founding member of the SOAR Institute for Learning in Retirement, which earned a Leadership through Service Award from SUNY Potsdam in 2007. The two are very active in SOAR activities, taking courses, making trips and serving on committees. Dr. Johnson was also instrumental in raising funds to create the life-size bronze statue of an Adirondack black bear, which is prominently placed in the Maxcy Hall commons as a symbol of Potsdam Bear pride