Members of Troy University’s Sigma Chi chapter remember Ken Johnson as a dedicated alumnus, mentor and friend who passed away far too soon at the age of 59.
Now, Ken’s father, Roy Johnson, is honoring his son’s memory with a donation to Troy University that will pave the way for a future generation to have the life-changing experience of joining Sigma Chi.
“Sigma Chi was a very big part of Kenneth’s college days and long after college,” Roy Johnson said. “He made lifelong friends through the fraternity – great friends – and so did I. They were a good bunch of young men and it means a lot to me to honor Kenneth in this way.”
Roy Johnson has made a $125,000 donation to TROY and Sigma Chi to create an endowment which will be used to help new pledges who need financial help pay the cost of joining Sigma Chi.
Dendy Moseley, advisor for TROY’s Sigma Chi chapter, said the generous gift will ensure that cost will not serve as a barrier for a potential member who possesses the values and characteristics Sigma Chi stands for—values that Ken Johnson embodied.
“I think Mr. Johnson saw that his son gained true, lifelong friends through his involvement in Sigma Chi, through his college years and up until his passing,” Moseley said. “Obviously, that speaks to the bonds created through this organization.”
Ken Johnson was a 1982 graduate of TROY with a bachelor’s degree in social science. Johnson was active in Sigma Chi throughout his college years, and his involvement in the organization only deepened after graduating. Mosely described him as an engaged alumnus who was active in fundraising and served as a mentor to the young Sigma Chi members.
“He is someone whose presence and support around the chapter was always appreciated,” Moseley said. “Many alumni never come back and see the chapter house, but Ken actually felt the calling to come back and engage with the undergraduate men.”
One Sigma Chi member who benefited from Johnson’s mentorship was Connor Couch, a 2017 graduate now working at Troy University as a recruiter. Couch said he and his twin brother were both close to Johnson, someone who was happy to give advice on school or careers.
“He spent a lot of time talking to the pledges and new members, and he was someone that a lot of people went to with questions or when they needed help,” Couch said. “He was a special guy.”
Couch said Johnson set the benchmark for having a lifelong commitment to the fraternity, and he won the chapter’s Alumnus of the Year Award in 2014. In 2017, the award was renamed the “Ken Johnson Alumnus of the Year Award.”
Couch said Roy Johnson’s gift will open the door for young men to join Sigma Chi who may not otherwise have been able.
“Mr. Roy saw how much Sigma Chi impacted Ken’s life and I think he wants to see other young men impacted in the same way,” Couch said.