Outstanding Southeastern Alumni Profiles

Jared Johnson

Jared Johnson, the current mayor of Denison, Tex., has been serving his community for more than a decade. After being elected to the city council at age 27, he served for six years before successfully running for mayor, and is now in his fourth year. He is focused on making Denison a place where people want to live while encouraging the next generation to return home to build a solid community for the future. When he is not plugging Denison, he serves as an administrator for Texoma Medical Center.

He began his collegiate career at Southeastern as a music performance major upon receiving a scholarship his freshman year. He was drawn to a life of community service at a young age and also realized that very few people are given the opportunity to be successful in the world of music performance. Therefore, he changed his major to business finance and graduated with honors in 1999.

Johnson narrowed his career focus to the fields of healthcare, government, or higher education. He was afforded the opportunity to work as an intern at the Texoma Medical Center and was able to learn hospital operations from behind the scenes. This was a great influence in his life and he brought those experiences to the Denison City Council when he became one of its youngest members.

He considers the quality of his education at Southeastern to be top-notch and very valuable in preparing him to begin his career. One of the greatest challenges he faced at Southeastern was making the decision to change his major. He knew the choice he made would greatly impact his career and his future of service to the community.

The SE alumnus was greatly impacted in his journey by his Southeastern professors. One of the greatest lessons he learned during his time at Southeastern was preparation and the conscious effort needed to be successful. The one-on-one conversations he held with his professors and the mentoring they provided taught him what it meant to be a professional. He was able to put that professionalism to good use when President Barack Obama visited Denison in the spring of 2015.

When asked about a special memory of his time at Southeastern he mentioned playing intermural sports, specifically basketball. “My most vivid memory about playing basketball was making sure Kyle Stafford didn’t cheat as a referee,” he said with tongue firmly in cheek.

On reflecting on his education, the SE alum has some advice for current students and prospective students considering attending Southeastern. Enjoy the journey, take advantage of all your opportunities and above all, persevere and finish. You’re going to get tired and consider quitting, but you will be glad you hung in there when your career really takes off.