Meet the President - Fr. Jeff Johnson, S.J.
Fr. Jeff Johnson, S.J. began his term as Strake Jesuit's sixth President on May 23, 2016. Originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee, Fr. Johnson graduated from Vanderbilt University with a bachelor’s degree in English before serving for five years as a Surface Warfare Officer in the U.S. Navy. After entering the Jesuits in 2001 at Grand Coteau, Louisiana, he earned a Masters in English from Fordham University, and at Boston College he earned a License in Sacred Theology. While in studies at Fordham he co-produced and wrote the script for the documentary film “Xavier: Missionary and Saint” which was narrated by Liam Neeson and appeared on PBS.
Before being elected President, Fr. Johnson served as the school’s Assistant Principal for Student Affairs and as a member of the English Department faculty, positions he held for three and a half years. Before coming to Strake Jesuit, he served three years at Jesuit High School in Tampa, Florida where he taught English. After ordination he served for one year as Assistant Pastor at Immaculate Conception Jesuit Church in New Orleans. He was a member of the Strake Jesuit Board of Directors from 2008-2012 and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School of Houston.
Q&A with Fr. Johnson
What makes Strake Jesuit a special community?
Strake Jesuit, like all Jesuit schools and universities since 1560, grounds itself in the mission of forming and educating Men for Others. Our entire community from the board of directors to every member of our faculty and staff serves this single purpose rooted in Jesuit, Catholic values and that is to prepare young men to lead and to love. Our mission is so closely associated to the mission of the family that we are, in a sense, a family.
What is unique about the Jesuit approach to educating the whole student?
Taking our cue from our rich philosophical and theological heritage, Jesuit educators seek to educate and form the whole human person—body, soul and mind. Embracing all aspects of human development will better prepare a young man for the complex world he faces everyday and for the rest of his life. A student is more than a resume, a score or a grade; he is a talented and noble-creation of God worthy of a broad and profound education.
What is formation, and how is that different from a traditional college preparatory education?
I will often speak of formation when others might say education because formation better describes what families hope to accomplish with their children. Parents want to raise their sons to be good, smart, strong men of character and faith. This process can best be described as formation, and Strake Jesuit wants to assist parents in the formation of their son.
What is the Grad at Grad?
Jesuit educators describe our goals in forming the whole person in terms of the Grad at Grad. Along with parents we seek to form men who, by the time they graduate, are better equipped to be more religious, loving, intellectually competent, open to growth, committed to justice, and physically fit. Learn more about the characteristics of Grad at Grad here.
How does Strake Jesuit prepare students for college?
Preparation for college is one of our most important tasks in preparing a young man to lead. Guided by a top-tier faculty, the vast majority of whom hold advanced degrees in their fields, our students are well prepared for academic success in the most selective colleges and universities. Our Academic & Personal Counselors support students in navigating the challenges of academic life while our team of College Counselors support students in finding colleges that will be best suited for their continued development and personal goals.