Johnnie B. Watson Retires from LeMoyne-Owen College - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Johnnie B. Watson Retires from LeMoyne-Owen College

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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LeMoyne-Owen College president Johnnie B. Watson announced his retirement this morning. He's leaving the college after 8 years at the helm.

A 1960 graduate of LeMoyne-Owen College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education, Watson began working at Carver High School in Memphis as a social studies teacher. He got his Master of Arts degree from Indiana University in 1966. In 1982, he negotiated the consent agreement that resulted in reduced transportation and the return of many students to their neighborhood schools. Watson became deputy superintendent of Memphis City Schools in 1988. He retired the first time and accepted an appointment as professor at Rhodes College.

Johnnie B. Watson was the first alumnus in the college’s 151-year history to serve as president when it took over in 2008, after serving as interim president for two years.

“The purpose of this news conference is to announce my retirement as president of LeMoyne-Owen College, effective June 30, 2015” says Watson.

His last day won’t officially be until next summer. But, even after that he plans on coming back to LeMoyne-Owen College.

“Oh I'll be back. I will ask that I assume my roll on the board as Emeritus Trustee of the college. So, I will be active at LeMoyne-Owen College. I need them you know I have been affiliated with this college since graduating from high school in 1956 from Booker T. Washington High School,” Watson says.

The board of trustees at LeMoyne-Owen College will begin a nationwide search for President Watson's replacement. But, in the meantime, everyone at LeMoyne-Owen College is looking forward to one more year with a much beloved Johnnie B. Watson.

Rachel Cody-Alexander  is a senior at LeMoyne-Owen College. She says, He's going to have one more year with us and I think even as an alum you want to see HBC’s move forward at one point. They’re the only places that would educate African Americans at one point. So, we are about living and want it to survive and were hoping to get leadership in the future equivalent if not better than Johnnie B. Watson.

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