Johnson family makes large donation to new women’s residence hall
Observer Staff Report | Tuesday, September 10, 2019
The University announced the Johnson family — Todd, Susan, Matthew and Hilary Johnson of Minnesota — made a large donation that will go towards the construction of a women’s residence hall that will be located east of Flaherty and Dunne Halls, Notre Dame announced in a press release on Friday.
“The Johnsons, an exceptionally generous family, have exhibited that generosity in making possible this hall at Notre Dame bearing their name,” University President Fr. John Jenkins said in the release. “We are extremely grateful for this residence hall, a place for building community and contributing to the education of our students’ minds and hearts.”
The dorm will be home to the Valkyries, a community of women currently living in Pangborn. It will house approximately 225 residents.
Todd Johnson is the CEO of Capstan Corporation, a family business. He earned his bachelor’s degree in construction engineering management from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 1981, according to the release.
Susan Johnson is a speech-language pathologist, and earned her bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her master’s degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 1987, the release said.
Together, the Johnsons are members of Notre Dame’s Cavanaugh Council, Badin Guild and Boldly Notre Dame campaign cabinet.
The Johnson children, Matthew and Hilary, each graduated from Notre Dame.
Matthew Johnson graduated in 2012 and 2019 as part of the one-year accelerated MBA program. While on campus he was a tour guide and served as a a weekly reader to University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, the release said.
Hilary Johnson graduated in 2015 from the University, and is attending Midwestern University to get her masters degree in biomedical science. She was a resident assistant in Lyons Hall while attending the University, as well as a weekly volunteer at Saint Mary’s Convent.
Johnson Family Hall will be the 32nd residence hall on Notre Dame’s campus, and the 15th women’s hall. The dorm is expected to be opened in the fall of 2020, and will be nearly 70,000 square feet, the release said. The design of the building will be “unique, integrating elements of campus architecture and Notre Dame residence hall traditions, including a chapel, courtyard and various spaces for studying and socializing,” the release said.
“We are deeply honored to share our family’s blessings with the University of Notre Dame for being the lead gift for the new women’s residence hall on campus,” Todd and Susan Johnson said in the release.
Additional benefactors contributed to the construction of Johnson Family Hall. They include Celeste and Kevin Ford of Portola Valley, California, Carol and Bill Hoffmann of Minnetonka, Minnesota, Molly and Geof Meyers of Ottawa Hills, Ohio, Clare and Jerry Richer of Southborough, Massachusetts and Shayla and Chip Rumely of Atlanta, Georgia.
“As the University continues to invest in strengthening our undergraduate residential communities and improving the quality of hall life for our students, we are extraordinarily thankful to Todd, Susan, Matthew and Hilary for the addition of Johnson Family Hall,” vice president for student affairs Erin Hoffmann Harding said in the release.