Meet a Deac – Hansford Johnson

One of the hallmarks of a Wake Forest education is the personal attention our students receive.  The concept of the “education of the whole person” extends beyond the classroom to mentoring relationships with faculty and administrators.  Today we want to introduce you to Hansford Johnson, Director of Graduate Student Affairs and Program Director, Master of Arts in Management program.  If your student is a liberal arts major but is interested in getting more business education, the MA in Management is a fantastic program – details here.


What is your official job title?
Director of Graduate Student Affairs and Program Director, Master of Arts in Management program

How long have you worked at WFU?
I started in August 2009 as Assistant Director in the Graduate Business School Career Management Center. My role was to develop, implement, and execute a mentor program pairing 220 graduate students with 220 local executives in the Research Triangle, Triad, and Charlotte. I was promoted to Director of Mentor Programs in July 2010 and led a team of 3 through the growth stage of the program. By July 2011, in addition to my Mentor Program responsibilities, I became Program Director of the Master of Arts in Management program and then Director of Graduate Student Affairs in October of 2011.

In laymen’s terms, what do you do at WFU?
At the Wake Forest University Schools of Business graduate programs, my staff and I help students define their calling and grow intellectually, socially, personally and professionally. We help students discover their passions and encourage them to follow those passions.  Our objective is that students will have experiences, opportunities and relationships that will help them successfully develop and implement a game plan for life that ensures their work has personal significance and an impact on society at large.

How would you characterize Wake Forest students?  What are some common attributes they have?
Very unique, creative, innovative, and they all have a desire to make a difference.

What advice would you give to students and parents?
I always tell students to dream big and pursue things in life that brings meaning and purpose to their existence. Chasing money and titles tends to complicate things, so aspire to live a simple life that impacts your family, community, and leaves an imprint on the world.

For parents – I think one of the greatest gifts you could give to your children is to be consistent, challenge their thoughts, inspire them never to lose hope, and encourage them to learn to live off of one income.

What do you like best about working at Wake Forest?
I love the people I work with and feel honored to have a relationship with and serve under Dean of the Business School, Steve Reinemund.

Optional, completely frivolous questions:

Book you’re reading now: Primal Leadership and The Bases of Competence

What music are you listening to these days: I am currently listening to movie instrumental soundtracks while in my office – they seem to help me think more clearly

Favorite movies: Last Samurai, 300, Passion of the Christ – to name a few

Websites you frequent: ESPN, CNN, and WFU of course

Guilty pleasure: Brownie with ice cream

Favorite place to be on campus: Worrell Professional Center and Starbucks at ZSR Library

What most people don’t know about you: Born in Liberia, Africa and played collegiate football at Middle Tennessee State University from 1998 – 2001

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