Ruth Johnson, Class of 1975, was honored with the 2012 Nashville Athena Award on March 26. Johnson, who was nominated by the Tennessee Women’s Forum, was one of 29 nominees considered for the award, which recognizes women for outstanding business skills, leadership and community service. She currently serves as associate vice president for advancement at Meharry Medical College.
Johnson joined the staff of Meharry Medical College in 2005. She began her career as an attorney specializing in estate tax with Internal Revenue Service from 1975-79. Her career includes work as a supervisor at Peat Marwick Mitchell and Touche Ross, as a Title III coordinator at Fisk University and later as an adjunct professor in Fisk’s business division, as an affiliate broker for Broker South Real Estate, and as an attorney in private practice.
Johnson served under Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist as the state’s Commissioner of Revenue from 1995 to 2003. She earned her law degree at Vanderbilt after earning a B.S. with honors from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Johnson is married to Richard Manson, Class of 1975, who is a founding partner in Manson Johnson Stewart & Associates in Nashville.
“No one woman can create the change that is needed. That work must be done by all of us. It takes all of us to change the way that women are viewed and treated in this society,” Johnson said in accepting the award. More than 500 participants attended the gala at Nashville Schermerhorn Symphony Center at which Mayor Karl Dean, Class of 1981, announced Johnson as the 2012 Athena Award recipient.