co-chair of the award reception named in his father’s memory,
commended Dr. Johnson for his inspirational and life-changing
leadership. He said Dr. Johnson has helped create an environment
“His innovative vision has transformed Cleveland, expanded
opportunities for higher education and enabled a generation of
students to achieve their dreams,” Adler said.
Dr. Johnson has served as Tri-C
president since 2013 and reshaped the student experience with a
strong focus on access, equity, and success. Graduation rates
and totals have reached record numbers and continue to climb
under his guidance.
His leadership extends off campus and into the community.
Examples include: leading a citywide commemoration of Carl and
Louis Stokes; co-chairing the selection committee for the
Cleveland Community Police Commission; and supporting the
creation of Tri-C’s Stand for Racial Justice alliance.
Recently, under Johnson’s leadership, Tri-C was selected as
intermediary for the Workforce Connect Healthcare Sector
“I am proud to accept, on behalf of Tri-C, the Adler Award from
AJC Cleveland, who we join in helping to make Cleveland a city
where all are welcome and able to thrive,” Johnson said. “We
look forward to our collaboration for years to come.”
Since 1996, the AJC has presented the award as a tribute to
Richard H. Adler’s legacy and vision for Cleveland—Richard Adler
“demonstrated the highest ideals of leadership, commitment to
community and philanthropy through his professional and
This year’s reception will not take place due to the COVID-19
outbreak. The AJC intends to recognize Johnson next fall while
also honoring its 2021 recipient.