Dr. Joe Johnson (left) and Dr. Joe DiPietro (right) celebrated July birthdays. Photo by Jack Williams
By Gina Stafford
To a lifetime of achievements that include serving as University of Tennessee president—twice—UT president emeritus, executive assistant to a Tennessee governor and a beloved member of the UT family, Dr. Joe Johnson has added another distinction: octogenarian. Johnson’s 80th birthday came in July, along with a surprise celebration hosted by UT System President Joe DiPietro.
With more than 50 years of his life dedicated to the university, Johnson now serves as president emeritus. DiPietro routinely consults with Johnson on issues and initiatives, but he kept the subject mum when he asked Johnson for a Friday morning meeting in July. To Johnson’s surprise, hundreds of others also showed up—for the surprise 80th birthday celebration at the UT System offices.
Belated birthday wishes are welcome. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or postal mail to Dr. Joe Johnson, President Emeritus, University of Tennessee, 731 Andy Holt Tower, Knoxville, TN, 37996.