July 21, 1998


LAWRENCE -- Former University of Kansas athletic director Monte Johnson and his family have established a new international business fellowship with a $100,000 commitment to the Kansas University Endowment Association, School of Business dean Tom Sarowski announced today.

The gift is from Monte Johnson; his wife, Lawrence real estate agent Kay Johnson; their daughter, Jackie Johnson Ferguson; and son, Jeff Johnson. They established the Anthony Redwood Faculty Fellowship and launched a drive to raise gifts for the Anthony Redwood Fund and the KU Center for International Business.

Named in honor of business professor Anthony Redwood, former co-director of the center, the fellowship will support overseas study and travel for faculty members pursuing research, course development or an international professional activity. The Johnsons' donation also supports the center's grant-writing efforts.

"The School of Business is deeply grateful to Monte, Kay, Jackie and Jeff for their generosity," Sarowski said. "Their gift will provide important support for the school's effort to become a leader in the field of international business now and for many years to come."

Monte Johnson said he and his family hope the donation will help globalize and strengthen KU's international business curriculum.

"No one was more supportive of me during my time as athletic director than Tony Redwood, who served as chairman of the Athletic Board and as a key member of the KU Athletic Corp. Long-Range Planning Committee," Monte Johnson said. "Likewise, few have served the School of Business and the Center for International Business more ably or faithfully. Before Tony retired from the business school faculty, our family wanted to make sure his name and many contributions to the success of the university were properly honored."

Longtime supporters of KU, the Johnsons have contributed frequently to many different areas of the university, including the Williams Educational Fund, the School of Business, the Spencer Museum of Art and the KU band.

During Campaign Kansas, Monte and Kay Johnson and their daughter and son-in-law, Jackie and Kent Ferguson; and their son, Jeff Johnson, donated $50,000 for an athletics expansion project and the Williams Educational Fund. Recently the Johnsons pledged $100,000 to establish a scholarship for walk-on basketball players.

Monte Johnson grew up in Kansas City, Kan. He graduated from KU with a bachelor's degree in business in 1959 and a master's degree in business administration in 1967. He was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, master of ceremonies of the Rock Chalk Revue and a three-year letterman on the KU basketball team from 1957 through 1959.

In his career, Monte Johnson has worked as a senior vice president for the Fourth National Bank in Wichita and with former KU teammate Bob Billings in Alvamar Inc., an investment and land development company in Lawrence. He was KU athletic director from 1982 to 1987. In 1988, he raised $2.5 million for a new chapter house for the Phi Delta Theta fraternity at KU. Currently, Monte Johnson works as a business consultant.

At KU, Kay Adele Rathbone Johnson was a member of Pi Beta Phi. She graduated in 1960 with a bachelor's degree in education. She is an agent with Coldwell Banker McGrew Real Estate in Lawrence.

Monte and Kay Johnson are members of the Kansas Alumni Association and the Hill Society, which honors donors of $100,000 or more through the Chancellors Club, KU's major-donor organization. Monte Johnson has served on the KU Alumni Association board of directors, the KU Athletic Board and currently serves on the steering committee of the Center for International Business.

Jackie Johnson Ferguson graduated from KU with a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1985. Jeff Johnson graduated from KU with a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1988. He is a member of the School of Business board of advisors.

The gift will be administered by the KU Endowment Association, an independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fund-raising and fund-management foundation for the University of Kansas. Founded in 1891, the KU Endowment Association is the oldest foundation of its type at a public university in the United States and one of the largest.

Story by Diane Silver, (785) 832-7400


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