Category: 2017-2018


Johnson’s History Center renovated for 125th anniversary

KNOXVILLE— Johnson University is celebrating its 125 year anniversary, and one part of commemorating this special occasion was the redesigning of the Phillips-Welshimer building’s History Center.

Director of Human Resources at Johnson University, Leslie Bean became a part of the Quasquicentennial Celebratory Committee. With an education in history and museum studies, Bean lead in the creating ideas for the exhibits for the 125th.

There are three categories of the committee: events, publication, and exhibits. From Cabinet members to staff and faculty, a wide range of people were chosen to be involved.

“They were picking people who could help put things in place to celebrate the 125th,” Bean said.


Bean said the committee began meeting in the summer of 2016, and knew they wanted to do something with the History Center, but nothing was decided then.

“This room was set up before for the 100th anniversary,” said Bean. “So not much had changed over the past twenty-five years.”


The History Center’s established usage and ideal placement meant that it was was overdue for an update.

“As neat and interesting as the artifacts in this room were, they didn’t really tell the story of Johnson,” Bean said. “We wanted a space close to the auditorium where most of the events were being held.”


Bean made plans with Facilities and met with the Committee about the progress. Bean said it took about a year to nail down the plans for this room, and renovations began in October of 2017.

“Jonathan Robinson, and Facilities really helped spearhead all the physical renovations,” Bean said. “Facilities really had a big part in putting this room together.”

Her and Mark Young put together the videography features such as the Smart TV of the History Center.


Inspired by East Tennessee’s History Center, Bean said that they wanted to change the name to reflect the change in the room’s functionality and purpose.

“Traditionally this room was referred to as the Historical Room, and it was in memory of the Johnson’s,” Bean said. “We wanted something more functional, a room that would tell the story of the place…I also wanted a room that could be used for multiple events.”


Having opened for homecoming, and to be used for Senior Saints workshops, Bean hopes that this center is the beginning for future exhibits.

“It will remain as an exhibit space,” Bean said. “But I hope that after we have other projects completed such as the ARK we will be able to have more exhibits.”

The History Center will continue to serve as a functional room designed for multiple uses for Johnson. It is open during the week for anyone to discover Johnson’s history.



SPSU to host night of worship,prayer

KNOXVILLE— Students Promoting Social Unity will host a night of worship from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., April 27 in the PW Gym. The theme of the worship night is “Rise out of the darkness.” This event will count as a chapel makeup opportunity.

The night will consist of worship, a guest speaker, a testimony and time of prayer. Guest speaker, Pamela Laws, will be speaking on the healing power of the cross.

SGA is coming alongside SPSU in hosting this event. The first 100 through the door will receive a wrist band to remember the evening. Refreshments will be served in the Marble Hallway following the event.

This event is a continuation of raising awareness and serves as the third event held on campus. During the 2017-18 year, SPSU has focused on starting the conversation and raising awareness regarding all forms of abuse.

In November, SPSU started the conversation by hosting a panel discussion focused on breaking the silence on abuse. SPSU then hosted a self defense class in February to offer education and raise more awareness on campus.

SPSU invites all the Johnson community to attend and continue to raise awareness.


Ignite your prayer life

KNOXVILLE — Harvesters will be hosting a night of prayer tomorrow evening beginning at 10:30 p.m. lasting till 6 a.m. the next morning. The event, Ignite, will take place in the Philip-Whelshimer gymnasium.

Ignite poster

Ignite is an annual event, with this years theme centering around Jesus in the Garden.

Bekah Oaks, co-president of Harvesters, said the Harvesters leadership team especially wanted to make Ignite a focus this year because it fits so well with the current chapel theme: Lord, teach me to pray.

“I think Ignite fits perfectly with our theme of ‘Jesus teach us to pray,’ because it is a great way to put tire to road, so to speak,” Oaks said. “We have been hearing about the different ways Jesus prayed all year long, and now is a great opportunity for students, faculty, and staff alike to actually partake in those prayers.”

Each half hour will be focused on a different aspect/way to pray. There will be different prayer stations and worship taking place throughout the night.

Students are welcome to come and go as they please until 1 a.m. curfew. At that point people need to decide if they want to stay for the rest of the night or if they want to leave.

The event offers a variety of ways to pray, interacting with different learning types and personalities. 


Health and wellness fair

KNOXVILLE — Johnson’s Public Health majors will be hosting a Health and Wellness Fair from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Thursday in the Gally Commons, private dining rooms 1 and 2. Students, Faculty and Staff are all encouraged to drop by.

The fair will offer information on health and wellness issues while also supporting Johnson’s Public Heath majors. There will be prizes handed out at the door.

The participating Health and Wellness Providers include:

  • Advanced Chiropractic Associates, PLLC
  • Brown Chiropractic Clinic
  • Foothills Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Center
  • Knox County Health Department
  • East Tennessee Regional Health Office
  • Moyers Nutrition Services, LLC, MS, Registered Dietician, Licensed Dietician-Nutritionist, and Consultant Dietician for East TN and KY
  • Humana Go 365
  • Royal Wellness

Public Health students will also have tables set up with information on:


Public Health students preparing a poster for their exhibit.

  • Hand washing
  • This is Public Health – Public & Global Community Health
  • Use and Abuse of Antibiotics
  • Nutrition and Kids
  • Acupuncture
  • Antibiotics
  • Stress Managment
  • Tobacco Prevention

Cindi Norton, professor and program director for Public Health, is excited for the fair, which gives Public Health students hands on experience in organizing exhibits for health and wellness fairs. Norton teaches a holistic approach to health, encouraging others to look at mind, body and spirit.




Now playing: The Hollow, preformed by Johnson’s drama students

KNOXVILLE — Johnson’s drama group will be performing The Hollow, by Agatha Christie at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The performance will be held in the Old Main building.

Tickets are being given away in the Gally Commons hallway during meal times. This will be a free performance, but tickets are required for entry. Thursday’s performance is sold out.


Tickets are available outside the Gally Commons.

The Hollow is a murder mystery that may not be suitable for young children, parents be advised.




Information regarding 2018 Commencement

KNOXVILLE— The Johnson University 2018 Commencement is approaching. All JUTN graduates are advised to review the following information for Commencement on May 5.
For those that have not yet picked up regalia,there will be a second Regalia pick up set from 12-5 p.m. April 16-20. Regalia can be picked up at the back door of the Registrar’s Office.


Rehearsal will take place at 2 p.m. May 4 in the PW Gymnasium. Only graduating seniors and faculty are to attend the rehearsal. Graduates will need to bring their regalia to rehearsal for photos.

Following the rehearsal, there will be a faculty reception held at 3:30 p.m. at the White House for graduates and their immediate family.

Commencement Attire

Graduates are not permitted to decorate or alter their caps or gowns. Graduates that arrive to the ceremony with an altered cap or gown, will be provided and charged for new regalia. This charge will be added to the graduate’s student account.

Men should wear a button down shirt, tie, dark pants, and dark dress shoes. Women should dress modestly and suitably for the occasion.


The Commencement will take place at 4 p.m. May 5 at the Sevierville Convention Center, located at 202 Gists Creek Rd in Sevierville, TN 37876.

Graduates are to arrive at the convention center at 2 p.m. There will be a separate entrance for graduates, marked by signs. Guests are advised to arrive early to avoid traffic delays.

The event will be livestreamed for those who will not be able to attend. To watch via livestream, visit the Johnson University livestream  the day of Commencement.

For additional information or questions contact Registrar at


School safety, gun control debates continue across country

KNOXVILLE—School safety remains a topic of concern and debate across public and private institutions. Thousands of people across the country have advocated for gun control and school safety, as part of a national campaign sparked by recent shootings like the one at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The reoccurence of school shootings across the country has led many schools to evaluate their safety procedures and emergency plans.

If Johnson University is ever placed in an emergency situation, there are plans set in place to ensure the safety of students and faculty. Each person on both the Johnson Tennessee and Florida campus has a role to play in ensuring the campus remains a safe and secure environment to live and learn.

“There is a plan in the background,” David Legg, JU dean of students said.

This plan includes the Nixle text messaging system.

“In an emergency, it would say ‘this is an emergency, what is happening, what you need to do, where you need to go and places to avoid,” he said.

The directions sent through the Nixle system will be based on the emergency response plan but will also be tailored to the particular situation at hand.

The recent shooting in Parkland, Florida has started a debate across the country about allowing teachers to carry guns. Johnson University, along with other private institutions, prohibits the carrying of firearms on campus.

There is a national debate surrounding how to best protect students from school shootings. Some suggest arming teachers to protect students, and others suggest implementing school violence intervention strategies.

The U.S House of Representatives passed the Students, Teachers and Officers Preventing  School Violence Act of 2018. The STOP act was the first school safety measure to pass in the House since the shooting. The bill passed March 14 and is now being considered by the Senate.

The STOP School Violence Act is a bill to help schools stop violence before it happens by providing grant funding for resources focused on early intervention and school safety infrastructure updates.

If passed, the STOP School Violence Act will provide grant funding for evidence-based training of students, teachers, officers and local law enforcement officers. This training is designed to give students and teachers the ability to recognize and respond quickly to warning signs of school violence.

The STOP School Violence Act will also include funding for:

  •  The development and operation of anonymous reporting
    systems for threats of school violence, including mobile
    telephone applications, hotlines and internet websites.
  • The development and operation of school threat assessment and intervention
    teams that may include coordination with law enforcement agencies and school personnel; specialized training for school officials in responding to mental health crises.
  • Placement and use of metal detectors, locks,
    lighting and other deterrent measures.

According to the congressional record of the bill, grant funding may not be used to provide firearms or firearms training.

One of the debates is whether to arm teachers to aid in protecting students or to entrust local law enforcement and current school safety measurements and prevention strategies.

Legg said that JUTN has developed strong relationships with local law enforcement, ensuring that officers are familiar with the campus.

“In the case of an active shooter, it is important to appropriately respond to law enforcement,” Legg said. “The university maintains good relationships on an ongoing basis with the Knox County Sheriff’s department. It is an ongoing thing on keeping these things [emergency plans] up to date.”

The Florida Campus Safety and Security Committee meets at least quarterly to review the Emergency Management Plan and any safety and security concerns, about the university.

If an active shooter or an armed civilian comes on campus,  university officials encourage students and faculty to implement the Run, Hide, Fight method developed and copyrighted by the City of Houston and approved for public use by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“This Run, Hide, Flight— I want students to know it’s a good thing,” Legg said.” I don’t want students to dwell on it, but it’s about being aware and being prepared.

God gave us a life to live it, but there is nothing wrong with knowing a simple thing like Run, Hide, Fight.”

The Run.Hide.Fight response to an active shooter situation includes the following:

Screen Shot 2018-03-15 at 2.55.27 PM
Run, Hide, Fight procedures as cited from the City of Houston.

JUTN implements the following:

  • Nixle Communication Service.
  • Around-the-clock campus patrols by campus security and an outside security company.
  • Limited access to residence halls (limited to students, approved campus staff and guests).
  • Monitoring of all incoming and outgoing traffic by campus security and an outside security company.

JUFL implements the following:

  • Nixle Communication Service.
  • Keycard access to all exterior doors.
  • Controlled access to campus entries.
  • Residential entrance gate to campus closed and locked at night.
  • Subcontracted, professional Campus Security personnel with day-time and night-time shifts.
  • Campus Safety student workers.
  • Security cameras placed in strategic locations around campus.

Legg said that Johnson University is working diligently to provide the safest learning and living environments around in the midst of gun control debates.

View the Ready Houston Run, Hide, Fight video below for additional safety information.