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Johnsons recognized for continued support

The College of Forest Resources recently held a luncheon honoring the Johnsons for their continued support through private gifts. In February, Col. Kenneth D. Johnson and his wife Catherine gave more than 120 acres of Scott County timberland to the CFR. This gift is part of the 400 acres in Scott and Leake counties valued at more than $1 million that the Johnsons have bequeathed to the college through the MSU Foundation. Future funds generated from the proper management of the timber will be added to the Col. Kenneth ’K.D.’ Johnson Endowment for Excellence which he established in 1998. Over time, the endowment will be used to establish faculty chairs, professorships, fellowships, and other general enhancements for the Department of Forestry. The Johnsons also have endowed a scholarship in both of their names to support students majoring in forestry, as well as making contributions to support the CFR’s international studies program. In November 1942, while an engineering student at MSU, Johnson joined the Army Enlisted Reserve Corps. One of Mississippi’s most decorated military men, he served in the military for more than three decades. Upon his retirement, he was awarded the Legion of Merit, one of the highest awards presented to U.S. military personnel. After leaving the Air Force, he personally began to convert his family farmland to timberland. Johnson participated in the forestry summer field program under the direction of Dr. John Switzer. "K.D. and Catherine have become members of the CFR family," said Interim Dean Bob Karr. "We consider it an honor to be associated with such a fine family and we felt that if the colonel made it through summer camp with Dr. Switzer, that he had more than earned a spot as an honorary member in the CFR Alumni Society."

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