Phi Kappa Tau - Mississippi State University

Spring 2020 Newsletter

Alpha Chi Chapter of Phi Kappa Tau at Mississippi State University

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A L P H A C H I C H A P T E R 3 Service to Country and Brotherhood John Johnson '64 Reflects on His Time with Alpha Chi and His Military Career W hen you hear the name John Johnson '64, you may immediately recognize it, but if you don't, you really should. John's extensive military career, community involvement, and support of the chapter are, to say the least, impressive. An Alpha Chi Legacy. John enrolled at Mississippi State in 1963 and graduated in 1968 with a B.S. in management and an "unofficial" minor in aero engineering. He joined the chapter in the spring of 1964 and moved into the house his sophomore year. "I grew up without siblings. Living near my fraternity brothers during college gave me a lot of experiences that I didn't have before." John said, "I can remember a lot of great experiences as an undergrad in the chapter. Mealtime was always great! After dinner, I really enjoyed when Red Finley and the Skillet Lickers got together on the front porch and jammed." "Phi Tau was also an opportunity for great mentoring. Tom Stennis '58, our Domain Chief and I got extremely close. I can recall we drove together to the 1966 National Convention in Mackinac, Michigan. I learned more about Mississippi politics during that drive than I ever could have imagined." Tom was elected to the National Council at that convention and later became National President. John was commissioned as Second Lieutenant through Army ROTC upon graduation. His first year on active duty was as Chief of a Personnel Management Inspection Team at Continental Army Command Headquarters. In his second year of active duty, he was XO and CO of a Replacement Company in Long Binh, Vietnam. After release from active duty, John returned to State to pursue an MBA in 1971. During that year he was active in the chapter as a grad student and got to know a whole new group of brothers. After finishing his MBA, he worked for several companies in personnel management. In 1975, he began the study of law at Jackson School of Law and graduated from Mississippi College Law School in 1980 with a J.D., magna cum laude. During the '70s and '80s, John worked with the Mississippi Employment Security Commission. He also worked with the Mississippi Council on Aging as a Staff Attorney and Department of Child Support Enforcement as a Senior Attorney. After graduate school, John rejoined the active Army Reserve. He served for 15 years in the 2nd Maneuver Training Command which wrote and conducted training and evaluation exercises for Reserve and National Guard units throughout the Southeast and Puerto Rico. In 1989 he joined a USAR school unit, was an Instructor in Command and General Staff College and a Staff Leader in Command and Services Staff School. John retired in 1996 as a Lieutenant Colonel. As an undergraduate, John served as Administrative Secretary and Comptroller. In 1974, John got a call from then National Secretary Bill Jenkins, Bowling Green '57 asking him to assume the job as a regional graduate advisor or Domain Director for the Deep South Domain. John said, "I happily accepted that challenge. I can remember two of my first visits to Spring Hill College in Mobile and Southern Mississippi. Two guys really stood out. Both really got up in my face to demand 'What do we need to do to be the best on campus?''' Not being really sure what to say, I asked them what they thought they should do. In both cases, they laid out outstanding ideas about recruitment, campus involvement, and chapter administration. Those two guys, Jay McCann, Spring Hill '74 and Steve Nelson, Southern Mississippi '73, both of whom later became National Presidents." John was elected to the National Council in 1977 and served six years. He received the President's Award in 1973 and his second President's Award in 2012. He was also awarded the prestigious Palm Award for his lifetime of service to the National Fraternity in 2015, the highest award presented to an alumnus. In 2014, when the chapter recolonized, John was fortunate in his career and wanted to give back. He was able to because of some great advice he had received from his father, who said, "Don't spend all you make." This led to him supporting the Embracing Your Alpha Chi Legacy capital campaign. President Jacob Shaver '18 Vice President Michael Blanchard '19 Alumni Relations Chairman Carter Pickens '18 Treasurer Kevin Liao '19 Membership Orientation Chairman David Banks '18 Secretary Matt Osborn '18 Director of Events Dan Brokamp '18 Recruitment Chairmen Jarred Kimes '18 (636) 209-7879 Matt Prater '19 (601) 955-1776 Chaplain Carlos Villanueva '17 House Manager Jake Waller '19 Risk Management Chairman Austin Griffith '19 Philanthropy Chairmen Garret Harpole '19 Jackson Sauers '18 Community Service Chairman Michael Folse '18 Scholarship Chairman Benjamin Murphy '19 Social Chairman Wilson Taylor '19 Athletic Chairman Paul Cooley '19 Social Media Chairman Kyle Kissinger '19 E X E C U T I V E C O U N C I L

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