Ken Johansen '60, '62Th: Dartmouth Alumni Award Recipient, 2013-14
Kenneth Johansen '60, '62Th, right, receives the Dartmouth Alumni Award from Mark C. Davis '81, '84Tu, Alumni Council president, during the Alumni Awards Gala Dinner on October 25, 2013.
watch the video clip
You received your first packet of Dartmouth information from assistant football coach Ray Truncellito '49 when he visited Ridgefield Park High School in your New Jersey hometown. Ray would win the Dartmouth Alumni Award himself, so it seems appropriate that he could easily identify an extraordinary future Dartmouth alumnus.
Although your on-campus visit occurred during a sub-zero February weekend, you decided you could survive the Hanover winters. You did more than survive -- you thrived during your six years at Dartmouth. Your days were full as you majored in engineering sciences, participated in the Air Force ROTC program, competed in intramural athletics, joined Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, and earned some extra money working on the gardens at the home of the secretary of the College, Sid Hayward '26.
Following graduation, you remained in Hanover to study at Thayer School of Engineering, where you received a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering. Your next stop was the McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento, CA, where you served as a second lieutenant. Upon completion of your military service, you launched a 36-year management career in the paper and packaging industry, causing you to crisscross the country with positions in Massachusetts, Maryland, Indiana, Georgia, New Jersey, and Texas.
You have commented that much of your success in the Air Force and your career could be attributed to the leadership training you received at Dartmouth. As a result, you have dedicated an immense amount of time volunteering on behalf of your alma mater and your fellow alumni. The list of alumni roles you have held is extensive, and includes serving the class of 1960 as head agent; chair or co-chair of the 35th, 45th, and 50th reunion giving committees; member of the 40th reunion committee; and class president (during which time you received the Class President of the Year Award). In addition, you have been the president, vice president, and treasurer of alumni clubs in New Jersey and Texas; a representative on the Alumni Council; and president of the Class Presidents Association. Nearest and dearest to your heart is your work collaborating with fellow classmates to organize reunions, fundraising efforts, and class birthday parties in Boston, San Francisco, and other fabulous locations.
Your civic volunteerism is just as impressive, and reflects your interest in education, nature, and your faith. Supporting these areas, you have served as president of the Montvale, NJ, board of education (receiving the Archie F. Hay Award for outstanding board member of Bergen County), president of the Zion Lutheran Church Council, docent of the Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary, treasurer of the Briarwood Retreat Center, and vice president of the Congregational Council of the Advent Lutheran Church.
Of course, all who know you understand that your life revolves around your high school sweetheart, wife, and love of your life, Ruth. Married during the December break of your junior year at Dartmouth, she spent the next few years in Hanover with you, worked at the medical school, and supported your studies at Thayer. Yours has been a fun-filled and exciting partnership together with many joint endeavors, including obtaining two private pilot certifications to fly your Cessna together in the 1970s, establishing an amateur theater group when you resided in Georgia, and now leading educational outdoor tours together at the Chowenwaw Park close to your home in Florida. The most impressive joint project, by far, was the parenting of your two daughters, Karen and Katherine, and the grandparenting of your seven beautiful grandchildren.
During your undergraduate studies at Dartmouth, Professor Goddard awarded you an academic citation for your work in astronomy, noting, "Mr. K.E. Johansen is commended for being the number one man in the course -- consistently alert, accurate, painstaking, and very reliable." What a perfect description of your many attributes!
In recognition of your extraordinary commitment to your alma mater, community, and family, we are so very pleased to honor you with the presentation of the Dartmouth Alumni Award.
Mark Davis '81, '84Tu
President, Dartmouth Alumni Council
October 25, 2013