Johnson University Receives Gift from the Graham Family Foundation

May 8, 2021

President Tommy Smith with Tommy and Joan Graham

During this past weekend’s Commencement ceremonies, Johnson University announced that The Graham Family Foundation in Linden, Tennessee, will make a significant financial donation to the University over the next several years. The University’s Athletic and Recreation Center has been renamed The Graham Center.

Tommy Graham has been successful in the lumber industry and with land investments. As God blessed the family business, the Grahams responded with generosity to many Christian causes. They established the Earlene Strickland Graham Memorial Missions Scholarship Fund over 20 years ago to honor the memory of Tommy’s mother. It is among Johnson’s largest endowment funds and provides numerous scholarships each year for intercultural studies students. In 2010, the Grahams also helped launch Johnson’s Ph.D. in Leadership Studies with a generous gift that continues to provide scholarships for international students.

“Our number-one mission is to assist in seeking the lost,” said Tommy. “If one soul is saved, it’s worth it all.”

“As a family, we believe in the work and in the mission of Johnson, and we appreciate how they stay true to God’s word while preparing students to be in but not of the world,” said Sherry Duncan, Tommy and Joan’s daughter.

“Tommy and Joan Graham and their family have been generous supporters of our students through their scholarship fund for many years,” said Johnson University President Tommy Smith. “They are true partners in this kingdom work and I appreciate so much their dedication, friendship, and sacrificial service of Christ through this special gift.”

The Graham Center reflects Johnson University’s conviction that a high-quality education includes opportunities for spiritual, social, intellectual, and physical growth. As part of the campus’s Athletic and Recreation Complex, the Center includes basketball courts, an indoor turf room and fitness center, a 10-lane competition swimming pool, practice rooms, a hospitality area, and offices for coaching staff. Students also enjoy sharing meals and coffee at the Center’s café, playing pool or foosball in the game room, and spending time together and studying in the lounge. Johnson University’s sport and fitness leadership program holds classes in the facility.