Richard Johnson returns to Clarkson as vice president for philanthropy and alumni relations
Monday, September 20, 2010 - 12:05 pm

POTSDAM – Richard W. (Dick) Johnson II will rejoin Clarkson University as vice president for philanthropy and alumni relations, effective Oct. 11.

He held positions of increasing responsibility in fundraising and development at the University from 1983 to 1995, including service as vice president for development and communications.

With his return to Clarkson, Johnson will hold a highly visible role with donors and alumni, and have strategic oversight of the University's vision for philanthropy and alumni relations.

"In addition to his demonstrated fundraising success and lifelong connections to the region, Dick brings an immediate appreciation of Clarkson's history, as well as a deep commitment to help the faculty, staff, alumni and students build momentum for Clarkson's ongoing evolution to excellence," said President Tony Collins.

"For those working in higher education and following Clarkson in the media, the University is among the dynamic institutions on the move and is moving at an impressive pace," said Johnson. "Clarkson achieves more by the generosity of its alumni and other donors than any other organization that I know. I am impressed by the entrepreneurial vision of Clarkson's leadership and the shared sense of purpose among faculty and staff to create a rigorous educational experience that prepares students for the competitive challenges they will face upon graduation.

My wife, Carolyn, and I look forward to coming back home to the North Country and helping Clarkson galvanize even greater support and success in the years ahead."

Johnson has served as executive vice president of the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation since August 2000. Born in Ogdensburg, he received a bachelor of arts degree in history from Colgate University in 1969. He was commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve after graduating from Officer Candidate School in Newport, R.I., in 1969. He served in a variety of division officer positions aboard USS Observation Island (AG-154) from 1969-72. Following his active duty tour, Johnson became a general assignment newspaper reporter for the Allentown Evening Chronicle.

In 1976, he began his career in institutional advancement, returning to Colgate where he served as assistant director of alumni programs until 1977, and as director of annual giving from 1977 to 1980.

In 1980, he became director of development at Swarthmore College.

From 1983 to 1995, Johnson served in a variety of positions at Clarkson University with increasing levels of responsibility, including director of development, associate vice president for development, vice president for development and vice president for development and communications.

From 1995 to 2000, Johnson led Bucknell University's institutional advancement program as vice president for university relations, leading 70 employees and hundreds of volunteers to success in Bucknell's $188 million Design for the Future Campaign.

At the Naval Academy Foundation, Johnson directed the highly successful Leaders to Serve the Nation Campaign, which raised $254 million in private gift support to underwrite strategic priorities at the Naval Academy. The campaign concluded Dec. 31, 2005. The Foundation has since raised more than $110 million in private gifts that support the margin of excellence at the Naval Academy.

Johnson and his wife, Carolyn, have two married daughters.