November 19, 2017

Peter V. Johnson Remembered

The Black Lions lost one of our champions, Peter V. Johnson on November 7, 2017. Columbia has lost a friend, mentor, activist, and leader.

BAC 2016 Heritage Award Recipient, director of enrollment group special projects and special assistant to the dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid, and former assistant dean of students, Peter V. Johnson enriched the lives of countless Columbians and uplifted the black community at Columbia and beyond. 

All_Smiles3.jpgThe Columbia community honored Peter on Sunday, December 17th in Roone Arledge Auditorium. Organized by Peter's family, the tribute included remembrances, performances, and tributes to a man who gave so much of himself over the course of his life.

Peter was loved and respected by alumni, colleagues, faculty and students, and of course his family. His sudden passing was a shock to the Columbia community, particularly the close knit admissions and financial aid staff. Peter was also a great supporter and friend to Columbia's Double Discovery Center and Community Impact.

BAC is fortunate to have honored Peter in 2016 during our Black History Month Heritage Award and Scholarship Reception. Below are wonderful photos of Peter on what was then a memorable night. Now, that night is historic. 

The link below is to a Columbia College article noting Peter's passing. 

Columbia College Mourns the Loss of Peter V. Johnson 

On the evening Peter received the BAC Heritage Award in 2016 he was introduced by his colleague, mentee and friend Whitney Green '10SEAS '13TC. Her comments were so Peter! It was epic. Read Whitney's Introduction of Peter V. Johnson.  


Peter with his family: wife Jo (l.) and daughters Zenzele and Joya Powell '01CC (r.)








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  • Lenn Shebar
    commented 2017-11-20 22:36:56 -0500
    Sad news. Dean Johnson was a joy and always asked after my studies while I was an undergrad back in the mid-80s. I loved seeing & knowing that there was a “brother” who was a dean—it really impacted me as a student!

    My sympathies to the family.

    warm regards, Lenn
  • Kevin Matthews
    published this page in News 2017-11-19 14:43:01 -0500
  • Kevin Matthews
    published this page in News 2017-11-19 13:48:02 -0500