Mary Jo Johnson '79

Mary Jo Johnson '79 profile pic

Coming into Lawrence I was a Junior, having transferred from the University of Wisconsin system. I was seeking a small campus with an excellent music program and challenging courses to complete my undergraduate career. Preferring something more intimate where I could talk to my instructor or professor without first seeing a teacher’s aide. And something not too terribly far away from my family and friends in Wausau, WI. I found my place at Lawrence. As a Psychology major I was allowed to sit with my main instructors, Ed Olson and Bruce Hetzler, and explore my path. Many hours were spent in the lab assisting Bruce Hetzler with his research. Ed Olson was kind enough to recommend that I apply for the Rhodes Scholarship. While my health at the time would make even the remote possibility of studying overseas difficult, I always carry it in my heart that they, as well as all of my other instructors, had faith in me and consistently encouraged me to reach my highest potential. Since graduating I completed coursework toward an MBA while working in Dallas, TX and gained some excellent experience in commercial property underwriting, business expansion research and management. In 1985 my dad asked me to help him to develop a division in his business and, after all he and my mom had done for me, I wanted to return the favor. And I stayed on and am celebrating my 37th year with E.O. Johnson Business Technologies in Wausau, WI and have been CEO since 1991 and Owner since 2011. Outside of my professional interests, I enjoy time with my family and friends, travel, singing, ballroom dancing, hiking and volunteering. Many of the lessons I learned at Lawrence, both in and out of the classroom, helped to shape me both professionally and personally. I cherish my days at Lawrence University and wish I could have spent all four years there. Being a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority, the Concert Choir (under Dr. Karle Erickson), sledding down the hill on food trays from the old Downer Commons, The Viking Room, tutoring undergrads, TRIVIA!, Phi Beta Kappa and volunteering within the community are just a few of the many great memories I hold dear. And the friends made…..for life. Because of the many wonderful experiences that Lawrence University allowed me, am proud to support my alma mater and I am grateful that I spent the best two years of my college career at Lawrence University.