Graduating Senior Megan Johnson to Speak at 2018 Commencement

The senior English and history major will use a Fulbright ETA award to teach in Vietnam next year.
Posted on May 22nd, 2018 by

Megan Johnson

Gustavus Adolphus College senior Megan “MJ” Johnson will serve as the commencement speaker on Saturday, June 2, when the Class of 2018 graduates at Hollingsworth Field. Johnson, who majors in English and history and minors in Japanese studies and comparative literature, was chosen by a committee of students, faculty, and staff from a pool of graduating seniors.

Throughout the past four years, Johnson has been busy with many activities including being a co-editor of The Fourth Crown satirical news site, a student ambassador, and member of the speech team. She also works as an academic assistant in the history department and has been a very active member of the speech team, being named state champion twice. However, some of her fondest memories have come from being a Gustie Greeter orientation leader.

Megan Johnson ’18

“It’s incredible thrilling on move-in day to cheer in new students,” Johnson said. “I get the allure of Christmas and everything, but I honestly think move-in day’s a little bit better. There’s so much positive energy on that day.”

An interdisciplinary learner who seeks connections between the many subjects she studies, Johnson points to history professor David Obermiller and communication studies professor Phil Voight as particularly strong influences during her time on campus.

“I’ve had moments where I learned something in my history class and then I read about it in my English class, and that’s kind of wild because it’s like ‘wow, things kind of are connected.’ Liberal arts are a real thing,” she said.

Thinking about how she’s changed over the past four years at Gustavus, Johnson said she feels proud of how she’s grown into a better person. “I’ve become more self-assured, more resilient, and definitely a lot braver,” she explained.

After graduation, Johnson will teach English to high school or college-aged students in rural Vietnam as the recipient of the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant award.

“I have to start learning Vietnamese. I know how to say ‘I had breakfast.’ Which I probably won’t even say during my time there,” she laughed.

Johnson’s teaching position will last approximately eight months. After that, she’s open to exploring whatever options come her way.

“Thinking back to my past study abroad experiences‒in Tokyo and London for January‒I know at the end of my time in Vietnam, I will be a wildly different person. My interests will perhaps shift while I am abroad, so wherever that takes me is sort of a mystery,” she said.

Commencement exercises for the Gustavus Class of 2018 will take place on Saturday, June 2 at Hollingsworth Field. To learn more, visit the Gustavus Commencement website.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin



  1. Jack Little says:

    What a total badass.

    Thrilled that Gustavus has selected her to speak.

  2. Blake Gust says:

    What a wonderful Golden Gustie!