Felician Honors Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson

“You have it within you to do far more than you realize, and you are much smarter than you know.”

That was the message to students from former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson as he accepted Felician University’s 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award at a ceremony Tuesday, January 28 on Felician’s Rutherford Campus.

Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton, Felician University President Dr. Anne Prisco, District 34 Assemblyman Thomas Giblin, Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, Chairman of Felician University’s Board of Trustees Chris Swenson.

The MLK Jr. Legacy Award was established by Felician University to honor Dr. King by recognizing individuals whose work reflects the mission of the life of Dr. King, and the Franciscan Values which guide the University.

Values which Johnson says he tried to follow while he was in office, “Often in Washington, when we create and implement policy, we often lose touch with the impact that our policies may have on real human lives. For example, one of my responsibilities was enforcing our immigration laws but I never did so without understanding the impact it would have on real people,” Johnson told those gathered for the ceremony.

While on Campus Johnson also met with a handful of Felician students. Secretary Johnson spoke candidly about being a “D” and “C” student and flunking high school math. A late bloomer, Johnson’s grades improved when he attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, the same college attended by Martin Luther King Jr. It was at Morehouse that Johnson studied with Dr. King’s son, became a straight “A” student, and eventually went on to graduate from Columbia Law School.

Felician’s President Dr. Anne Prisco said “once the Secretary actually had a sense of our students and who was in the room you could feel the connection and the energy and he spoke to us from the heart about what the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr really meant to him personally and in his own development, and he was willing to share his own imperfections which I think is always such an important message.”

Johnson referred to Dr. King as a, “Man of God, and a man of Christian faith who believed in the selflessness of service.”

Chris Swenson, the Chairman of Felician University’s Board of Trustees read a letter from US Senator Corey Booker, the first recipient of Felician’s MLK Award which praised Johnson for his lifelong commitment to peace and justice.
You can hear Felician’s entire MLK Legacy Award Ceremony every Sunday in Black History Month (Feb), at 1pm on Radio Felician University. Here is the link to the live stream of Radio Felician. http://edge.mixlr.com/channel/oozbc

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About Felician University

Felician University engages over 2,300 undergraduate, graduate, and adult students through programs in Arts & Sciences, Business, Nursing, and Education. Universal Franciscan values of social justice, compassion, and respect for human dignity serve as an inclusive foundation for transforming the lives of tomorrow’s leaders. Felician University’s education is ranked 3rd best return on investment for private colleges in New Jersey 2018 by the PayScale.com College ROI Report and is ranked #1 safest college campus in the state by niche.com.