SFA Story: The History of Stephen F. Austin State University


Dr. William R. Johnson, President 1976-90

Wm. R. Johnson
Dr. William R. Johnson

Dr. William R. Johnson, a historian with a doctoral degree from the University of Oklahoma, was named the fourth president of SFA on July 1, 1976. He had previously served as vice president for academic affairs at Texas Tech University. Johnson expanded programs and buildings including Liberal Arts North, the University Center, Forestry, Rusk, Chemistry, and the Steen Library. Johnson secured funds for a new Math and Nursing Building and served as chairman of an effort to create the Higher Education Assistance Fund, with a goal to provide regular funding for buildings statewide. He retired from SFA on July 15, 1990, and SFA’s coliseum is named in his honor.