Johnson Lecture

Johnson Lecture Series

Since 1988, the Psychology Department invites a distinguished psychologist to deliver the annual Johnson Lecture, named in memory of former faculty member Ray Johnson. 

Raymond Gustaf Johnson joined the Macalester faculty in 1960 and died suddenly from a heart attack in 1987.  He had an undergraduate degree from Augustana College in Illinois, a Master's degree from Syracuse University, and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Minnesota.  Ray taught a variety of courses in the department, but he especially enjoyed teaching courses in personality and individual differences and was one of the faculty members who helped launch credit-bearing internships at Macalester well before this was possible at most other colleges. He was perceived by students as being personable and approachable.

In the later part of the 1960's, Ray played a key role in helping to initiate the Expanded Educational Opportunities (EEO) program at Macalester, a program designed to increase the presence of students of color at the college.  He was one of the faculty members to whom many minority students looked for support and advice.

In the broader Twin Cities community, Ray was instrumental in helping to found residential treatment centers, half-way houses, and drop-in centers after the national and state "de-institutionalization" of mental health servies.  He also was a leader in placing students as interns in these settings and the remaining state hospitals in Hastings and Anoka and in mentoring them in these challenging circumstances. 

He was an active participant in civil rights activities, state and local election campaigns, and neighborhood improvement organizations.

As a summer activity, Ray enjoyed volunteering at the Alexis Bailey Winery and helped many friends to discover local wines.

Ray had a wonderful sense of humor and was especially adept at pointing out the frailities among those who, in Ray's judgment, took themselves too seriously.

  • 1988 Robert Desimone '74
  • 1989 Ulric Neisser
  • 1990 Rosalind Cartwright 
  • 1991 Warren Simmons  ’73
  • 1992 Esther Thorson ’69
  • 1993 Eugene Borgida
  • 1994 Edward Donnerstein & Steven Penrod
  • 1995 Mark P. Jensen ’79
  • 1996 Stanley Sue
  • 1997 Mark Snyder
  • 1998 Pat Sharp ’77
  • 1999 Herb and Anne Pick
  • 2000 Elizabeth Loftus 
  • 2001 Julio J. Ramirez
  • 2002 Megan Gunner
  • 2003 Robert M. Sapolsky
  • 2004 Alexander W. Astin
  • 2005 Barry Schwartz
  • 2006 Shinobu Kitayama 
  • 2007 Patricia G. Devine
  • 2008 Travis Thompson
  • 2009 Walter Kintsch
  • 2011 Apostolos Georgopoulos
  • 2011 Michael Gazzaniga
  • 2013 James S. Jackson