Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History

Sauer, Anne

Branco, Jessica

Bennett, John

Crowley, Zachary


Johnson, Brooks T.,


Brooks T. Johnson, A1956, former U.S. Olympic women's track coach is the eleventh recipient of the Presidential Medal (1985).

Born in Florida, Johnson was residing in Plymouth, Massachusetts, when he entered Tufts, majoring in Government (Political Science) on a Travelli academic scholarship. As an undergraduate, he was a member of Phi Epsilon Pi fraternity, Sword and Shield (a sophomore honor society), a two year member of the Student Council and was a staff member of the Tufts Weekly. He ran track for Tufts beginning in his sophomore year, captaining an undefeated indoor track team in 1956. The previous year, he held the American intercollegiate record for the 60-yard dash. He set a world record in the same event in 1960.Following his graduation in 1956, Johnson became a National Honor Scholar at the University of Chicago Law School. He continued to race, winning a gold medal with the U.S. 400-meter relay team in the Pan American Games. Johnson was also selected as an All-American sprinter.

In 1964, Johnson went to Washington, DC as a program officer for the Governmental Affairs Institute. He continued his training at American University, organizing its Track Club and inspiring dozens of students to excel at track and field activities. In 1969, he taught modern history at St. Albans School for Boys, while coaching the school's track team, feeling he was making "an emotional investment" in helping black athletes obtain a college education.

Johnson moved to Stanford University in 1979, to assume the position of varsity track coach and director of track and field for both men and women. In 1984, he coached the U.S. Summer Olympics women's track team, which earned fifteen medals during sixteen events, including seven gold.

At Tufts Homecoming 1985, Johnson was presented with the Tufts Presidential Medal for service both to his alma mater and the larger community, illustrated by his goal "not to make track champions but to develop human beings."He had coached more than forty Olympic athletes during the course of his career. In 1987, Johnson was made manager of Sports Programming (Track & Field) for Walt Disney World Sports in Orlando, Florida.

Source: VF

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  • The encyclopedia seeks to capture more than 150 years of Tufts' achievements, societal contributions and outstanding alumni and faculty in concise entries. As a source of accurate factual information, the Encyclopedia can be used by anyone interested in the history of Tufts and of the people who have made it the unique institution it is.
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Numeric Entries
Dame, Lorin Low, 1838-1903
Dana, Charles A., 1881-1975
Dana Laboratory, 1963
Daniel Ounjian Prize in Economics,
Davies, Caroline Stodder, 1864-1939
Davies House, 1894
De Florez Prize in Human Engineering, 1964
de Pacheco, Kaye MacKinnon, ca. 1910-ca. 1985
Dean Hall, 1887-1963
Dean, Oliver, 1783-1871
Dearborn, Heman Allen, 1831-1897
Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, 1893
Department of Anesthesia, 1970
Department of Art and Art History, 1930
Department of Biochemistry, 1893
Department of Chemistry, 1882
Department of Community Health, 1930
Department of Dermatology, 1897
The Department of Economics, 1946
Department of Medicine, 1893
Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Department of Neurology, 1893
Department of Neuroscience, 1983
Department of Neurosurgery, 1951
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1893
Department of Ophthamology, 1893
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, 1906
Department of Otolaryngology, 1895
Department of Pathology, 1893
Department of Pediatrics, 1930
Department of Pharmacology, 1915
Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1854
Department of Physiology, 1893
Department of Psychiatry, 1928
Department of Radiation Oncology, 1968
Department of Radiology, 1915
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1955
Department of Surgery, 1893
Department of Urban and Environmental Policy, 1973
Department of Urology, 1910
Dental Health Sciences Building, 1969
Dewick, Cora Alma (Polk), 1875-1977
Dewick/MacPhie Dining Hall, 1959
Dickson Professorship of English and American History, 1913
Dirlam, Arland A., 1905-1979
Dog Cart, 1900
Dolbear, Amos Emerson, 1837-1910
Donald A. Cowdery Memorial Scholarship, 1946
Dr. Benjamin Andrews Professorship of Surgery, 1987
Dr. Philip E. A. Sheridan Prize, 1977
The Drug Bust, 1970
Dudley, Henry Watson, 1831-1906
Dugger, Edward Jr., 1919-75
Durkee, Frank W., 1861-1939
Durkee, Henrietta Noble Brown, 1871-1946
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