Albion College Set to Celebrate Inauguration of Dr. Mathew Johnson, the College’s 17th President

Among other festivities, celebration weekend includes groundbreaking of the Body and Soul Center at Washington Gardner

September 7, 2021

Dr. Johnson and Dr. O'Neill

Dr. Mathew Johnson began his tenure as Albion College’s 17th president on July 1, 2020, but his inauguration ceremony, a tradition at universities and colleges around the world, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Albion College recently announced that the inauguration of President Dr. Mathew Johnson will be held on September 18, 2021, at 4 p.m. The inauguration celebration, among other weekend festivities, will celebrate a new era in the college’s history and highlight investments made in partnership with the Albion community, including the groundbreaking of the Body and Soul Center. Johnson made the announcement.

“It has been an honor to serve Albion’s students, faculty, staff, alumni and community this past year and guide the College through an extremely difficult period,” said Johnson. “Our community has come together to face many challenges over the first year of my time serving as president. We are looking forward to a weekend of celebrations of the past year’s achievements and our continued investment in our people, infrastructure and community.”

Johnson, Albion’s 17th president, was appointed to the role by the Albion College Board of Trustees after a four-month-long search. Johnson, who assumed the presidency on July 1, 2020, did not have a traditional inauguration ceremony at the start of his tenure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ceremony will give the campus community an opportunity to officially welcome a new chapter of their school’s history.

Guest speakers will include Dr. James L. Curtis, ’44, a leading advocate for affirmative action in the medical community, Dr. Don Levy, director of the Siena College Research Institute, Dr. Maud Mandel, 18th president of Williams College, Andrea Brimmer, chief marketing and public relations officer of Ally Financial Inc., Dr. Ashley Woodson, dean of the School for Public Purpose and Professional Advancement at Albion College, and Rhiki Swinton, ’16, center manager for the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College.

In addition to the inauguration ceremony, the Albion community can join college and community leaders as they celebrate various campus and community investments throughout the weekend. Events include the dedication of the new School for Public Purpose and Professional Advancement, the first home football game of the season, and the groundbreaking of the Body and Soul Center. The weekend will coincide with the Festival of the Forks, an annual celebration held in downtown Albion which will feature a car show, parade, and stalls from local vendors.

The groundbreaking of the Body and Soul Center will celebrate the historic project that will unite education, wellness and the arts with experiential learning opportunities and strengthen the college’s connection with the community. Members of the Albion community are invited to witness the beginning of the project on September 18 at 9 a.m at the former Washington Gardner School. The new 200,000+ square-foot center, a multiphase project, will take 3-5 years to complete.

For more information on Albion’s presidential inauguration celebration and the groundbreaking of the Body and Soul Center, please visit

About Albion College

Albion College is a private liberal arts college of approximately 1,500 students and is nationally recognized for its academic excellence in the liberal arts tradition, a learning-centered commitment and a future-oriented perspective. The College is a leader in preparing students to anticipate, solve and prevent problems in order to improve the human and global condition. Albion immerses students in the creation and processing of knowledge and graduates skilled architects of societal change, active citizens and future leaders. The College is dedicated to the highest quality in undergraduate education and is committed to diversity as a core institutional value.

Albion, Michigan is a culturally diverse community in the south-central part of the state. The College recognizes the value of community, both on- and off-campus and has invested resources in supporting the revitalization of the greater Albion community. This work offers an increasingly vibrant city around the campus that provides students with a fuller experience as they prepare to become engaged citizens in their own communities. For more information, visit