Carthage receives $450,000 gift from Ruth Johnson to help students in need
Longtime Carthaginian and Registrar Emerita Ruth Johnson ’84 has gifted Carthage $450,000 so the College can offer scholarships to students who are in need of financial assistance.
Ms. Johnson, one of the College’s longest-serving employee, reaffirmed her commitment to Carthage by leaving an estate gift to her former college and long-time employer when she died in January.
In a show of gratitude for her generosity and to honor Ms. Johnson’s commitment to the College, the Office of the Registrar will now bear her name.
Hired in 1956, Ms. Johnson worked under longtime Registrar Pearl Goeller for several years in Carthage, Illinois, and then played a major role in the transition to the new campus. Ms. Johnson opened Carthage’s first Kenosha office, even as construction continued. Besides her primary position, she had a hand in admissions, residence life, and the mailroom during those early years.
Promoted to registrar in 1981, Ms. Johnson set an example for adult learners, earning a degree in art in her late 40s by attending Carthage night classes while working full time.
Her gift will fund scholarships, including the Ruth Johnson Emeritus Scholar Award which was named in her honor and continues to recognize high-performing seniors in the Adult Undergraduate Studies program.
For her nearly 50 years of outstanding service to the institution and the wider community, Ms. Johnson received the Carthage Flame in 2000. She supported a range of initiatives and held membership in the Henry Denhart Society, which recognizes donors who provide for the College through estate plans and other planned gifts.
After retiring in 2002, Ms. Johnson remained engaged in her alma mater. Along with Beverly (Hand) Keller ’61 and Irma (Niekamp) Anderson ’48, she became known as one of the Carthage “legacy ladies,” attending groundbreaking ceremonies for every facility on the Kenosha campus.
Former Carthage President Greg Campbell calls Ruth a “pillar of stability in the administration of the College,” adding “If a person knew Ruth, that person also automatically knew more about Carthage.”
A new plaque outside of the office will read:
Registrar Emerita Ruth Johnson ’84 dedicated nearly 50 years to Carthage College. She started in the Registrar’s office in 1956 on the Illinois campus and played a major role in the College’s move to Kenosha.
Ms. Johnson set an example for adult learners, earning a degree in art in her late 40s by attending Carthage night classes while working full time as the College Registrar.
The Office of the Registrar is named in honor of Ms. Johnson’s outstanding service to the institution and generous philanthropic contributions.
“In many ways, Ruth Johnson personified the Carthage mission,” said President John Swallow. “As one of the first Carthage staff on the ground in Kenosha, as a student- and faculty-oriented administrator, and as a nontraditional student, she modeled the Carthaginian spirit.”
The Ruth Johnson Office of the Registrar dedication ceremony was held on Nov. 19.