Dr. Eric JohnsonPresident George Bridges awarded Dr. Eric Johnson ’72 the Presidential Leadership Award at Whitman’s 2014 Commencement.

Johnson graduated from Walla Walla High School, and then from Whitman with a biology degree, before pursuing medicine at the University of Washington. Today, he’s a beloved physician in Spokane.

But his reach doesn’t only span the communities of Eastern Washington. Johnson has also served as a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, traveling to such flashpoints as Balad, Iraq, and Bagram, Afghanistan, as a leader of a critical care air transport team.

Johnson has also completed 10 medical missions to Guatemala, Mexico, Ethiopia and Colombia, providing medical services to children with congenital facial and cardiac abnormalities. He has also led two humanitarian missions to Chiang Rai, Thailand, in support of an orphanage there.

A dedicated Whitman alumnus, Johnson has served as a member of the W Club board since 2009 and began a three-year term as vice president in April 2014. A former class rep, he was a reunion chair for the class of 1972’s 20th and 25th reunions, and co-chaired the 2008 football reunion.