S. Sue Johnson Endowed Graduate Award Fund


Graduate Student Financial Aid Dept D01145


Graduate Student Support

History and Purpose:

Johnson is a UCR graduate who has served as a Regent for almost 10 years, and has served on the Regents' committee on finance and as member of the board's committees on grounds and buildings, and oversight of the Department of Energy laboratories.

"Sue Johnson is a hardworking, dedicated representative of the University of California," said Davies. "The board and the university benefit greatly from her energy and leadership"

That's what S. Sue Johnson, member of the UC Riverside Foundation Board of Trustees, credits for her passion for education. Johnson comes from a family of educators. Her grandfather, P. Boyd Smith, started Riverside's California Baptist University. Her father, S.E. Boyd Smith, was professor of music at Azusa Pacific University and a founding faculty member of both California Baptist University and the University of Corpus Christi in Texas. Johnson, who graduated from UCR in 1962 with a B.A. in history, never took the value of learning for granted.

Her dual passion for education and the city of Riverside propelled Johnson into becoming an active alumna. She was the first woman president of the Citizen's University Committee, the group that lobbied to bring a UC campus to Riverside. In 1986, Johnson was the first graduate to be awarded the Alumni University Service Award, which honors deep volunteer commitment, contribution and support for the benefit of UCR. The same year, she was Riverside Chamber of Commerce's Citizen of the Year.

Johnson went on to become an alumni regent, representing UC alumni to the UC system governing board. "This was a fabulous experience," notes Johnson. "To watch California's best minds was very stimulating, personally and intellectually."

She was appointed by Gov. George Deukmejian to the UC Board of Regents for a 12-year term in 1990, and served as chair from 2000 to 2002, where her highest priority was to monitor the quality of UC education. At the conclusion of her term, she received the Chancellor's Medal, the University's highest honor.

"I have a great appreciation for having been a regent and to have served as a trustee during UCR's formative period," says Johnson, who has seen UCR grow from a small liberal arts college into a world-renowned research university. Johnson is currently a member of the UC Riverside Foundation Board of Trustees, which supports the mission of the chancellor.

Why such a strong sense of service?

"It's the joining of the heart for a purpose," notes Johnson. "That's what volunteers provide. I feel so lucky to have an institution like UCR in my home town."

This Fund shall be used to provide awards for graduate students in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (CNAS) and/or in the Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering (BCOE).

Selection and Guidelines:

This award is used to provide awards for graduate students in CNAS and/or BCOE.

Request for Information: